Alvaro Morata says his former Chelsea team-mates drove him “crazy” because of the way they “looked at” him on the pitch.
Morata’s first-team chances at Stamford Bridge became increasingly limited under Maurizio Sarri and his loan move to Atletico earlier this year appeared to signal the end of his short-lived Premier League career.
And that was the case as Atletico Madrid confirmed a permanent deal at the end of the 2019-20 season following the completion of his 18-month loan.
The Spain international scored 24 goals in 72 appearances for Chelsea after joining from Real Madrid for a fee of around £60million in 2017 – but he failed to settle in west London.
“I’m happier now,” Morata told COPE radio. “It wasn’t a good time in my football life, I’d stopped enjoying it. At times I didn’t believe in myself.
“I was playing some games in England and I had the feeling that when I got into space, my teammates looked at me and I knew they thought I wouldn’t do anything good with the ball.
“It was driving me crazy. I had a bad time.
“I’ve smashed my phone after games. I’ve got home and thrown it against a wall.
“I had a back injury. I went to Germany for treatment… Two days later I played, my back hurt again, I had a terrible game. I had all these messages on my phone saying ‘don’t worry, good times are coming’ and I threw it against the wall.”