Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata considered leaving the club this summer after calling his first season in English football “a disaster”.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Blues from Real Madrid last year, enjoyed a flying start to life at Stamford Bridge, but could not build on it and found himself out of the side.
He scored just three times in 23 games in the second half of the season and missed out on Spain’s World Cup squad as a result. And Morata, who has earned a recall for his country’s Uefa Nations League games against England and Croatia, thought about leaving the Premier Club in favour of a return home or a move to Italy.
“I thought about playing again in Spain or Italy, of course I thought it would have been happy, but you cannot always escape from reality,” he told the Spanish press.
“It was a disaster last year, I did not know where I was, I was not happy.
Not going to the World Cup was hard for me. I did not have the best season and the coach made the decision.
“I signed for Chelsea to be there and I was not, although that ultimately made me motivated.
“I do not hold a grudge against (former Spain coach Julen) Lopetegui, I’ve lived a lot of nice things with him too, it was his opinion and I did not do my best season either.
“But I do not hold a grudge against anyone, I wish him all the best and more now that he is at Real Madrid.”
Morata, who has won 23 caps, admitted he took his international career for granted and was left heartbroken by missing out in Russia this summer.
He added: “I experienced it, it was a very hard moment that has already happened and it’s not worth looking at the past, I’m going to do everything I can to go to the next one, it was a difficult moment because I thought I was going to go.
When you start playing football and watch the World Cups on TV, it’s your biggest dream to play it with your country, I had a very bad time, I wanted my team-mates to win it but of course I wanted to be there and it was a very difficult moment.
“There are times I have stopped valuing coming here, you do not think about it until you see the national team matches from your home and you know that it is the greatest thing to be with Spain, I hope to come for all the games.”