The Real Madrid marksman insists he has a strong relationship with the Chelsea striker and is enjoying the battle between the two for a starting berth in the Spain side
Alvaro Morata says he is relishing the “luxury” rivalry between him and Diego Costa as both fight to lead the line for Spain.
Morata, 23, was La Roja’s undisputed main striker at Euro 2016 after Costa was omitted from erstwhile head coach Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man squad.
However, Costa has been brought back in from the cold by new boss Julen Lopetegui, who started the Chelsea man in Spain’s recent double header against Belgium and Lichtenstein.
And Costa has looked a revitalised figure after scoring two goals and registering one assist in the two matches, with Morata having to come off the bench to make an impact against Lichtenstein.
But Morata – who also scored a double in Spain’s 8-0 thrashing of minnows Lichtenstein – insists he has a good relationship with his rival for the No.9 shirt.
“My rivalry with Costa is a luxury,” Morata told Goal. “They [critics] said the strikers didn’t score and now we have scored four between us both.
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“Costa has dedicated his goals to me, so imagine the relationship I have with him. I have no anxiety to score”.
Lopetegui, who coached Spain’s U19, U20 and U21 sides in the past, pipped a number of high-profile names to succeed Del Bosque and has made a dream start to life in charge of the senior team.
And Morata, who worked with the ex-Porto boss in the U19 side, says the whole Spain squad are united behind Lopetegui and believe he is the man who can take them back to the pinnacle of world football.
He added: “Lichtenstein was a great game. There are reasons to continue believing in this team. And there are still players who have been left out, such as Isco or Andres Iniesta.
“With all of them, I think we can succeed. It is difficult. We should be happy, regardless of the result, for the goals, the way the team played. We believe in this new coach, who knows the young players as well.
“The champions are still here, always hungry, always play well, but we think we can place the bar very high as well, and the coach knows it.”