Chelsea News

Alvaro Morata Reveals He 'Came Close' to Suffering From Depression During Spell with Chelsea

Alvaro Morata has called for better mental health support within football
Alvaro Morata has called for better mental health support within football / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Alvaro Morata has revealed that he came close to suffering from depression during his difficult spell at Chelsea. The Blues paid a then-club record £58million to bring Morata to Stamford Bridge in 2017, but the former Real Madrid man did not live up to expectations, scoring just 24 goals in 72 games.

The Spaniard left Chelsea for Atletico Madrid in January 2019, and eventually moved to Juventus last summer. Morata has now opened up on his challenges in the Premier League, and admitted that he has continued to see a psychologist to help him cope with the day-to-day pressure ever since.

"I've never had a depression and I hope I never do but I came close," Morata told EL Mundo. "I don't believe it is given the importance that it has. When your head doesn't work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn't matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself.

"Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle. Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train," he said. "You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot.

"Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn't seen as something normal to see a psychologist. But inevitably, it has to be something normal. Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times..."

Morata also added that having professional help while at Chelsea would have helped him immensely. He said: "Had I had a professional, close to me during my time [first season] at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me."

The striker has seen his performances improve the last few seasons, with the Spaniard establishing himself as a key figure for Juventus this term, scoring 16 times in 34 games.