Atletico striker Morata read the statement out as one of the team's captains
The four captains of the Spanish men's national team, Álvaro Morata, Rodri, Azpilicueta and Marco Asensio appeared before the press in Las Rozas on Monday, accompanied by their teammates in the front rows of the press room. The players were keen to speak out on the conflict that has arisen in women's football and sharply criticised suspended president Luis Rubiales.
Morata, as first captain, read the statement: "First of all, we would like to once again express our pride and our most sincere congratulations to the women's national team for winning the World Cup in Sydney. A historic milestone full of meaning that will mark a before and after in Spanish women's football, inspiring many women with a priceless triumph. We would therefore like to express our regret and our solidarity with the players who have seen their success tarnished."
The speech took a turn up a notch when referring to Rubiales. "We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour on the part of Mr Rubiales, who has not lived up to the institution he represents," he added.
Morata stressed that "we stand firmly and clearly on the side of the values that sport represents. Spanish football should be a motor of respect, inspiration, inclusion and diversity and should set an example with its conduct both on and off the pitch."
Finally, he wanted to turn the page because "from today, we face a decisive training camp for the future of Spanish football on our way to qualifying for Euro2024 with two matches against Georgia and Cyprus. We would like, from now on, to be able to focus on sporting matters given the importance of the challenges ahead of us."
Topics with the letter