Morata: Playing with back pain a mistake

The most expensive player in Chelsea history began his Blues career in really fine form, getting off to an extremely hot start, but he's since been set back by injuries.

Messi, who has won five Ballon d'Or awards, has had a miserable time against Chelsea in the past having failed to score on eight occasions.

"I respect Chelsea of course and I am very happy, but Madrid are Madrid", Morata told Movistar+. "I don't know [when he'll be back] because he has this problem and we tried a lot to find a solution to solve the pain in his back". I went through a poor spell where I missed important goals but I wasn't well physically and mentally.

"I didn't play knockout games in the Champions League, neither against Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or Valencia".

The Spain global returned to the pitch as a substitute in Monday's 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge, producing a lively 30-minute cameo after replacing January signing Olivier Giroud up front and forcing several impressive saves from Ben Foster.

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Ahead of Chelsea's huge UEFA Champions League first-leg clash with Barcelona in a week's time, Alvaro Morata has had his say on their Spanish opponents.

But Ernesto Valverde's side head into the tie flying high and Morata believes it will take an outstanding rearguard action for his side to progress.

The Spaniard is not the only Chelsea star to sing Messi's praises recently.

"There's no way to stop Messi", Morata said.

"But first, we have to play a good game here and get a good result, which is not easy against Barcelona".

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