'Morata is a top player' - Moreno defends Spain team-mate amid threats due to Euro 2020 performances

Alvaro Morata, Euro 2020Getty

Gerard Moreno has jumped to the defence of "top player" Alvaro Morata amid the threats the striker has received for his Euro 2020 performances with Spain.

Morata revealed that he has been a victim of social media abuse following his underwhelming display in a 1-1 group-stage draw with Poland.

The Atletico Madrid forward, who recently extended his loan stay at Juventus, said his family were insulted and threatened in a barrage of vile messages from online trolls, with Moreno among those left shocked and saddened by the personal attacks on his team-mate.

What's been said?

"It is unfortunate that you have to receive threats due to a game of football. Here, we support everyone, they have our support," the Spain and Villarreal star told Goal.

"Álvaro is a top player, you see him train and it's incredible: the desire, everything he gives to the national team. And, in matches, the same. 

"We are judged on goals and assists, but football is much more than that. Some lines do not have to be crossed."

Luis Enrique's reaction

Spain head coach Luis Enrique has called for the police to get involved ahead of his side's round-of-16 clash with Croatia, insisting that those responsible for aiming abuse at Morata should be held accountable for their cowardly actions.

“This is bad enough that it has to be put in the hands of the police,” Enrique said at a press conference. “This is a serious crime. Insulting his family is a serious issue that has to be put into the hands of the authorities and dealt with in the strongest possible way. It is his wife and children.”

Morata's miserable Euros

Spain were held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden in their opening Group E fixture, with Morata guilty of wasting their best chance of the game by side-footing his shot wide after seeing a fumbled clearance from Marcus Danielson fall perfectly to him in the box.

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Morata briefly redeemed himself in their subsequent outing against Poland as his close-range finish gave Spain the lead, but he then missed the target with the goal at his mercy after a Moreno penalty struck the post moments after Robert Lewandowski had headed home an equaliser.

Spain wrapped up their group-stage campaign with a thumping 5-0 victory against Slovakia, but Morata missed an early penalty and was ultimately unable to double his account in the tournament.

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