Whilst a certain Raul Gonzalez Blanco will probably forever be the most famous ex Atletico Madrid youngster to end up at Real Madrid, another emerging star may yet make the ‘rojiblanco’ youth coaches rather foolish, as well as their counterparts at neighbouring Getafe. Alvaro Morata shared three years at the two clubs between the age of twelve and fifteen, before joining ‘Los Merengues’ in the summer of 2008.
By August 2010 the young striker had already made it as far as the reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla, and although it took him two months to score his first goal, by the end of the campaign he had added another thirteen, notching his first senior hat trick against Deportivo La Coruña’s reserve side in February 2011. By then he had already made his first team debut, appearing in a victory at Real Zaragoza in December before making his home debut as a late substitute in the 8-0 Copa del Rey demolition of Levante. Since then he has made just two more first team appearances, but was the star of Castilla’s promotion-winning campaign last season.
Perhaps the biggest indication of the regard in which he is held at the Bernabeu is that whilst the club were happy to sell strike partner Joselu to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the summer, they gave Morata a new improved contract and promoted him to the first team squad. As with most of the promising Spanish stars of tomorrow, he has represented his country at under 17 and under 19 level, winning the Golden Boot last summer when leading ‘La Rojita’ to the European championship title in Romania.
Morata faces a tough battle to get regular first team action, given that he has most recently occupied the left flank of Castilla’s attack, a position favoured by a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. However given that he is still over a month away from his 20th birthday, time is still very much on his side – and with the Portuguese superstar indicating recently that he is far from happy with life in Madrid, Morata may well get his chance to shine much earlier than he had ever anticipated.