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Alvaro Morata secured Spain's place at the 2022 World Cup with a goal on Sunday night, and then celebrated by making an ill child's dream come true with a gold star.
Morata was at rock bottom during the Euros last summer, when his poor form led to death threats against him and his family, despite Spain making the semi finals.
The Juventus striker missed the penalty in their last four game with Italy, that sent the eventual champions through to the final, but he made up for it on Sunday.
His 86th minute winner against Sweden secured his country's place at next winter's World Cup, and avoided the fate of neighbours Portugal of having to go through the play-offs.
Morata celebrated by lifting a gold star above his head. It's been reported that it was given to the striker by Miguel Angel, a boy from Malaga who is part of the Little Wish Foundation.
The foundation allows sick children to live out their dreams and Angel was able to meet Morata and give him the star for good luck and in turn the 29-year-old dedicated his goal to the child.
After scoring the goal that secured Spain's 2022 World Cup qualification, Álvaro Morata celebrated by holding up this star.— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 15, 2021
He dedicated the goal to Miguel Ángel, a Malaga boy from the 'Pequeño Deseo' foundation, which aims to make the wishes of sick children come true. pic.twitter.com/bql1QBaoKx
Álvaro Morata’s celebration with the star was dedicated to a 10-year-old boy with terminal cancer who visited Morata at the team hotel and he wanted Morata to know that he was his idol.— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) November 15, 2021
Speaking after the match, Morata was happy to help his team qualify but did warn that he, and his fellow countrymen, were only doing the bare minimum by making it to the finals.
"The team have had bad times together, but it is great news for everyone. This is where we have to be," he told reporters after full time.
"But we should not celebrate more than necessary. Spain has to be in all the World Cups.
"For some time now, any game we have played has been difficult.
"All these teams are working very hard; it is very difficult to play against teams that defend well and are organised.
"I needed to qualify for the World Cup and win this game, which is what we all need.
"We are a great group and we deserve to be in the World Cup.
"Surely some great team that can opt for the World Cup will be left out, the qualifying phase is difficult. You have to be happy.
"Now we have to work hard to have the opportunity to go to the World Cup."
He's certainly right about teams missing out, just ask Cristiano Ronaldo. On second thoughts he'll probably still be very angry.
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