Juventus goal hero Alvaro Morata said it was “bittersweet and strange” to knock former club Real Madrid out of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-2 aggregate semi-final victory on Wednesday.
Morata featured from the bench as Real won last year’s final, but was subsequently allowed to leave the Santiago Bernabeu having failed to force his way into Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team plans.
The striker fired home in the 57th minute to seal a 1-1 draw on the night and the right to play Barcelona in next month’s final, but – as was the case when he opened the scoring in the first leg – Morata’s celebrations were muted.
“I didn’t celebrate the goal, I was never going to,” he said. “It was a bittersweet and strange sensation for me.
“These two games have been difficult for me. I want to thank the Madrid fans, I wish I had scored against another team.”
Now the emotions of facing his former club are out of the way, Morata is hungry to join an elite list of players – currently consisting of Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa and Samuel Eto’o – to have won back-to-back Champions League finals with different clubs.
“We have fought so hard to get here, but this does not end here,” he added. “We want to win the final and make history, but we’re very happy.
“My former team-mates want us to win and they wished me the best.
“Just like in Turin, it was hard for me at times tonight but I had to focus my head quickly. That’s what football is like.”