"Obviously doing what a legend like Del Piero has done is a reason of pride for me," said Álvaro Morata after equalling a Juventus record in inspiring victory against Sevilla.
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Juventus forward Álvaro Morata did not hide his pride at equalling a club record held by "a legend of football like Alessandro Del Piero" after scoring in his fifth consecutive UEFA Champions League appearance to help beat Sevilla.
The Spanish international found the net in both semi-final legs against former club Real Madrid and in the final versus Barcelona last season before starting the current campaign by getting the winner at Manchester City in the Group D opener.
When the words 'Juventus' and 'record' appear in the same sentence, the name Del Piero almost always follows. The player with most appearances and goals in Juventus's history scored in five consecutive UEFA Champions League games in the victorious campaign of 1995/96, a mark Morata finally equalled on Wednesday with a precise header after 41 minutes.
"Obviously doing what a legend of football like Del Piero has done in the past is a reason of pride for me," Morata told UEFA.com after the game. "I'm proud but I don't want to stop here. I want to keep working hard to help the team winning and to score more goals."
Juventus dominated the game in Turin, amassing a total of 24 shots against Sevilla's one. "Yes, we played a good game," Morata said. "As I said ahead of it, when Juve play at their best, as a unit, we are difficult to beat for any team in the world. I'm happy to have scored a goal, but above all for the victory. We could have scored more but it was important to win."
Morata benefited from a precise cross by Andrea Barzagli, the experienced central defender playing in an unfamiliar right-back role. That perfect cross probably surprised many fans at the Juventus Stadium but not Morata.
"I know Barzagli's quality," the forward said of his team-mate. "That's why I was ready, I knew the ball would arrive. I'm happy for him because he played a great game."
The 22-year-old also talked about his attacking partner Paulo Dybala, who replaced last season's talisman Carlos Tévez. "We haven't played together for long time so our partnership will certainly improve game after game," Morata said. "We tried some good combinations tonight, we are also good friends off the pitch and I think that's visible when we play together."
The UEFA Champions League anthem seem to bring the best out of Morata, who lifted the trophy with Madrid in 2014 but in contrast is still searching for his first goal of the season in Serie A. "We haven't started the season well," he admitted. "But I'm sure we just need a bit of patience. Juve will be back. Personally I just want to work harder in order to start scoring in the league as well."
On 23 October, two days after the home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Morata will turn 23. Beating Del Piero's record would certainly be a highly appreciated birthday gift.