Alvaro Morata has decided to change from No. 9 to No. 29 at Chelsea as a tribute to his twins who were born on July 29.
Alice Campello, Morata’s wife, gave birth to Alessandro and Leonardo last weekend and the striker travelled to Venice to be with his family ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season clash with Arsenal.
However, Morata joined up with his team-mates again in Dublin and started against Maurizio Sarri’s side, missing a host of chances and a first-half penalty at the Aviva Stadium.
While the Spaniard was honoured to take over the No. 9 shirt when he arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer, he has decided to give it up ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Interestingly, Morata wore the No. 29 shirt in debut season at Real Madrid back in 2010.
But there are far more personal reasons for his choice this time around.
‘It is a day I will never forget, to welcome my twin sons into the world,’ he told Chelsea’s official website.
‘My family is so important to me and I want to honour them and my wife, Alice, when I am on the pitch which is why I have decided to take a different number for the new season and remember this special day by adding the number 2 to my shirt.
‘I am sorry to the fans who may have bought a number 9 with my name already, but I hope you understand my tribute and that it will not be a problem and we can make you a new one with the 29.
‘Thank you for your support and I hope this year there will be lots more to celebrate.’
The Spaniard wore the No. 29 shirt in his debut season at Real Madrid (Sarri defended Morata’s poor performance against Arsenal which came just after the birth of his twins.
I don’t know if he is not confident,’ the Italian said following Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal.
‘Maybe he was tired. The last three days for him were very intense, so maybe this match he was a bit tired.
‘I am not worried about Morata