Breaking into the Real Madrid first-team at the age of 18 happens on the rarest of occasions and Alvaro Morata has fully vindicated Jose Mourinho’s decision to throw him into the spotlight at such a tender age.
Born in Madrid, Spain on 23 October 1992, Morata began his career at Getafe CF before making the move across the capital to Real Madrid in 2008.
Prior to being promoted to the first-team by Mourinho in December 2010, Morata progressed through the youth ranks at Los Blancos, first by scoring 34 goals and winning two youth titles with the Juvenil A before becoming a prominent figure for Real Madrid Castilla.
A series of eye-catching performances led the young Spaniard to make his league debut on 12 December 2010 as a substitute in Real Madrid’s 3-1 away win at Real Zaragoza.
After flitting between Real Madrid Castilla and the first-team for the remainder of the 2010/11 season as well as the subsequent campaign, Morata scored his first senior goal when he was introduced late on during an away match at Levante UD in November 2012. The frontman demonstrated an immediate impact by grabbing the winner in a 2-1 victory within a minute of entering the field.
Likened by many to Real Madrid legend Fernando Morientes, the 6ft 3in forward finally made his first full start against Rayo Vallecano at the Santiago Bernabeu on 17 February 2013, in which he opened the scoring after only three minutes.
Morata became more of a regular under ex-Juventus manager Carlo Ancelotti during the 2013/14 season. The Italian put his faith in the young Spaniard on many occasions, in particular when he introduced him to help spark a successful Real Madrid revival during this year’s Champions League final triumph against inter-city rivals Atletico Madrid.
At just 21 years of age, Morata already boasts an impressive CV having won La Liga, two Copa Del Rey titles, a Supercopa de España as well as the Champions League in only four years at the club.
On the international stage, Morata starred in Spain’s European Championship winning Under 19 and Under 21 teams (2011 and 2013 respectively), with whom he also achieved the coveted Golden Boot award at both tournaments.