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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Spain coach: Whistles for Morata ‘hurt my soul’

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said it “hurt his soul” to hear a section of the crowd at the Bernabeu stadium whistle at Álvaro Morata during Tuesday’s friendly draw against Brazil.

The Atletico Madrid forward, who started against Brazil, had an off night and was whistled by some fans during the game. A former Real Madrid player, Morata was booed as he was substituted in the 81st minute.

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“It hurts my soul that in my country, the captain of the national team is being whistled at,” De la Fuente said. “I feel pain. The [crowd at the] Bernabeu has been incredible, but as a Spaniard I feel ashamed when a player from Spain is whistled.

“But the vast majority of fans have supported Spain. It is everyone’s job to educate in supporting the national team. Here we have to leave aside the colours of the clubs, and that is a job for the press. Let’s see if we can all solve this.”

Manchester City midfielder Rodri thanked Morata after the game for granting him the captain’s armband against Brazil. Rodri, who lost his grandfather earlier this week, scored two goals from the penalty spot.

“I’m very grateful for Alvaro’s gesture,” Rodri said. “It shows what a great person he is. I dedicate my two goals to my grandfather who passed away.”

Rodri was disappointed Spain could not hold on to the win after Lucas Paquetá equalised from the penalty spot late in the game.

“We both wanted to win,” the Man City midfielder said. “It’s a pity, the win escaped us at the last minute. But results are not worth much now but in Euro 2024. The important things is to grow.

“It was a fiercely contested friendly.”

Brazil teenage forward Endrick marked his first appearance at the Bernabeu stadium in style. Endrick, who will join Real Madrid this summer, came on in the second half and scored after four minutes.

The Palmeiras starlet, who had scored his first goal for Brazil at Wembley in his country’s 1-0 win on Saturday, was delighted.

“I said yesterday during supper that I dreamt of scoring my first goal here,” Endrick said. “I’m not the star of this team. These two goals [against England and Spain] I owe it to my teammates and to [coach] Dorival for selecting me and allowing me to play in these two games. I’m very happy with how my life is going.”

Brazil coach Dorival added that he expects great things from Endrick in the future.

“He is a boy who shows a lot of promise and who is growing quickly,” Dorival said. “He has been the star in two big stadiums, such as Wembley and the Bernabeu. Now we have to be careful with his progression so that he can continue to be decisive. He has the unique characteristic of the goal, the sensitivity of the area that only great scorers have.

“He is a player who makes a difference. I am sure that both Endrick and [Spain’s Lamine] Yamal, whom I have seen at the Bernabeu, will be two of the big stars of the next World Cup in 2026.”

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