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'I Almost Became Depressed At Chelsea'

Juventus forward Alvaro Morata has revealed how close he came to falling into a depression during his time with Chelsea.

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The Spaniard, who is currently on loan at the Bianconeri from Atletico Madrid, joined the Blues from Real Madrid in 2017, and started life in England like a house on fire.

Morata had six goals his first six Premier League matches, but the forward's form dipped soon after. At the end of his debut season in London, he had found the back of the net on only 15 occasions in 48 appearances across all competitions.

He then left the club in the January transfer window that followed, departing the Stamford Bridge side with only 24 goals after 72 games.

Three years later, the Spain international has opened up about how difficult things were for him in England, saying he only began to start feeling better mentally after he sought professional help.

"I've never had depression and I hope I never do, but I came close (at Chelsea)," Morata told El Mundo.

"I don't believe it is given the importance that it should. When your head doesn't work well, you are your worst enemy.

"During those times, it doesn't matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself. Depression is an illness, just like breaking your ankle.

"Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train. You have to be ready and that (seeing a psychologist) helps you a lot.

"Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn't seen as something normal to see a psychologist – but inevitably, it has to be something normal. Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times.

"Had I had a professional close to me during my (first season) at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me."

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Morata has scored 16 goals and assisted a further 11 strikes in 34 matches for Juve so far this season, with six of those strikes coming in eight UEFA Champions League games.

 

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