Spain has left Sevilla, and will no longer return to a home stadium during Euro 2020. The match against Croatia tonight (Monday at 19:00, Sports 3) It will take place far away in Copenhagen, and if it passes it will travel east even further, all the way to St. Petersburg. And there may be players on the roster who are not happy about the loss of the home team, but there is at least one who is happy not to play anymore in front of the “fans” crowd that has accompanied the team so far. Albero Murata suffered enough from them.
It sometimes seems that the main task set for themselves by some of the stadium occupants in Spain is to curse the striker chosen to lead the Reds ’edge. It started with the friendly match against Portugal at the Anda Metropolitano Stadium, ostensibly Murata’s most “home ground” – because he is currently on loan at Juventus from Atletico. It didn’t feel homey at all, and after the zeroed-out chorus the choir sang: “Murata, how bad you are.” This was not the ideal preparation for the tournament, but the sequel was even worse.
In a 0-0 draw against Sweden, in the first round, Murata missed the Spaniards’ best chance, when he stood alone against goalkeeper Robin Olsen – and the reactions were harsh. After being replaced, he sat down next to the team psychologist, who tried to strengthen his self-confidence a bit. For days, the Spanish media discussed the crucial question – is it worth playing with Gerard Moreno instead? Coach Luis Enrique chose to combine the two, and Villarreal’s scorer even cooked up Murata’s goal in the first half against Poland. However, this confrontation also ended in a draw, and criticism of Murata did not stop. She just got stronger.
Watch the miss against Sweden
This led to curses directed at his family. “They send death wishes to my children. It’s hard for me that my wife has to deal with this nightmare. There is a limit to what can be said about football players,” Murata said – and he is absolutely right. The attitude towards him has completely gone beyond the bounds of good taste, which is doubly serious when it comes to a player who needs mental stability in order to deliver the goods on the pitch. There are stars who like to prove to everyone where the fish urinates from. Murata is different – he has always been skeptical. Therefore, the team would have been happy if it had found the net in 0: 5 over Slovakia. In practice, he actually missed Pendel, and it was Fran Torres who replaced him who scored the Spaniards’ most beautiful goal a minute later.
Watch 0: 5 over Slovakia
So now the rehabilitation work needs to continue, and it might be easier to do it without the poison on the pitch. The stands at the Olympic Stadium in Sevilla are very far from the pitch, and the number of spectators was limited, and yet they managed to convey the negative message to the player who so desperately needs their support. “In previous years it would have completely driven me crazy. Now I am stronger,” the striker testified – but he will feel much more comfortable in Denmark and Russia. For Murata, it is better not to get stuck in a place where it is not valued enough. This is also the reason why his whole career is characterized by migration.
When Albero grew up in Atletico, his dismissal from the squad until the age of 15 made him seriously consider turning to tennis. Luckily, Hattafa absorbed him when his mental state was catastrophic, and within a year he was already excited to be part of Real Madrid’s academy, but the move to the senior team of the Whites was not smooth, and only the move to Juventus put his career on the right track. This time luck was against him, because Real decided to implement the clause to sign it back – and then came the failed move to Chelsea.
Missing the penalty in the debut game in the Community Shield defined, somehow, the entire period of the Spaniard at Stamford Bridge. “It was frustrating, and I stopped enjoying football. I stopped believing in myself because my teammates didn’t believe me. I had a feeling they were looking at me and knowing I could not do anything with the ball. It drove me crazy. My friends sent me messages on the phone that everything would be fine, but impossible. “I had to endure it. I came home and threw the phone on the floor,” he recalled after signing for Atletico Madrid.
And this return to his first club was not particularly happy either, as Diego Simeone had at some point lost faith in the scorer. So he returned to Juventus again, and last season was encouraging, with 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. It also convinced Luis Enrique to build the edge around him, and the stubborn Spanish coach does not tend to change his mind easily. He will walk his truth to the end, even if it is not necessarily the right thing to do logically. As for Murata, it is easy to understand his considerations, because his overall contribution to the pressure exerted on the opponent without a ball is very high, and he is a smart player who knows how to reach opportunities thanks to excellent timing.
Not for nothing are many Murata gates disqualified because of very borderline differences using VAR. This points to his developed senses, which were even more effective in an era without the intervention of technology, but do not detract from it even now. A striker should not calculate millimeters while in motion. He needs to be more cunning than the defense, and sometimes it even works the other way. The gate to the Polish net was disqualified by the Kwon, but it was VAR who did justice and approved it.
It will not change the minds of those who whistle at him, but Luis Enrique is willing to try to convince the commentators. “Murata gives us a lot – much more than you think. I want him to know how much I trust him. He has 20 goals in 43 appearances for the team, and in all of history only David Villa has had a better balance after the same number of games. Legends like Raul And Fernando Torres scored less, “he explained. And now, away from Madrid and Sevilla, this belief of the boss can be of special importance.
Misses are able to throw Murata out of balance, but goals and industrial quiet can put him on the right track at just the moment of truth for the Spaniards. After all, this is a player who scored in the semi-finals and Champions League final back in 2015. It is for the big classes. This time, in contrast to the difficult days at Chelsea, his teammates give him a back. The battle against Croatia may be fateful not only for the Spaniards in the current tournament, but also in terms of Murata’s future in the national uniform, and his legacy.