Alvaro Morata has dedicated the extra-time goal that helped Spain qualify for the Euro 2020 quarterfinals in an epic 5-3 win over Croatia to his family after the insults and threats they have received in recent days.
Morata scored in the 100th minute of the round-of-16 clash -- after Croatia had staged a late comeback when 3-1 down with five minutes left to level at 3-3 -- before Mikel Oyarzabal secured a victory that saw Spain win a tournament knockout match for the first time since 2012.
Morata revealed this past week that his family had received threatening messages from fans after he missed chances in Spain's group matches in Seville, leading coach Luis Enrique to call for police action on the issue.
"In the last few weeks we've seen things that haven't been nice for me, but the majority of Spain has got on board," Morata said Monday. "The goal is for my wife, my kids, my family and everyone who supports me. Often you have to go through difficult moments, to suffer, to enjoy the good moments."
Luis Enrique -- who has stuck by Morata throughout, picking him in all four Euro 2020 matches so far -- praised the 28-year-old in his post-match news conference.
"I don't think there's a single coach in the world who doesn't admire, value and praise a player like Alvaro Morata," he said. "He's able to give you continuity, he defends as if he were a centre-back, he dominates in the air, he scores goals, he's strong. We have to value a lot having Alvaro in the national team."
The coach had also come under pressure after Spain's opening 0-0 draw with Sweden and subsequent 1-1 draw with Poland, before the team answered their critics with a 5-0 win over Slovakia and Monday's dramatic victory.
"If it ends like that, I'm ready to endure a quarterfinal in the same style," he said. "I don't know if my family and friends could cope, but the ending is so beautiful... The strange thing is we got a second opportunity in the match. The only error we made is how we played at 3-1. We shouldn't have just tried to defend and go long. At 5-3 we played how Spain should play, or my Spain at least, which is defending with the ball."
"Football is a game of errors," he said. "I've never seen a player in my career who didn't make mistakes... Unai Simon gave a lesson not just for professionals, but for any kid who wants to be a footballer. You shouldn't worry about mistakes, you should worry about trying. After making a clear mistake, he made incredible saves, he had personality.
"It was such an intense game. I've experienced some, but this one had a bit of everything," he added. "I'll tell you the headline: enjoy football."