Alvaro Morata has been warned by his Juventus teammates to ‘wear a helmet’ as he prepares for the crunch round-of-16 clash between Spain and Italy.
The Spanish forward, who will be leaving Juve this summer to re-sign for Real Madrid, has shone at Euro 2016 so far, scoring three goals in the group stage.
And Italy’s defensive trio of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, all clubmates of Morata in Turin, have warned him to expect a rough ride in Paris.
“They’ve told me to wear a helmet to play against them,” he laughed in an interview with Spain’s Cuatro.
“But Chiellini also told me that Spain is a great team and that it will be difficult to beat us.”
Morata revealed that he has been receiving messages from friends in Italy ever since the Azzurri confirmed their date with La Roja.
And he was open about how much of a challenge it will be to get past one of the tournament’s best backlines.
“Italy are very strong at the back because they have three central defenders who have been playing with each other for a long time.
“They don’t only fit well together, they compensate for each other.
“Bonucci is the boss, Barzagli the quality and Chiellini the strength.”
It hands Morata his second ‘BBC’ challenge. First breaking down Italy’s frightening defensive trio and then returning to Madrid, where he only wishes to stay if he is guaranteed first-team football.
Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo lie ahead of him, complicating his route to the starting XI, while Chelsea believe they are close to securing his signature.
Should he turn in a top-class performance against future Blues boss Antonio Conte on Monday then he may seal his own future.