Alvaro Morata feels like he is "leaving home" after joining Premier League champions Chelsea from Real Madrid for a reported club-record fee of £70million.
Morata scored 15 LaLiga goals as Madrid won the title last season, but he only started 14 league matches and was on the bench for the Champions League final victory over Juventus, coming on in the last minute of the 4-1 win.
A product of the capital club's youth academy, Morata spent two successful seasons at Juve before Madrid exercised a buyback clause to return him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Although he insists it was his decision to leave for Stamford Bridge, the 24-year-old concedes that it is difficult to be moving on after just one more year in Spain.
"Today is a special day, different…" Morata wrote on Twitter. "There are many things I would like to say now, there are many feelings, many memories that now gather in my head.
"Today my second spell at Real Madrid finishes, today a new phase of my career begins. I'm sure that some will not understand my decision, others will certainly not support it... but in the end that's what it is, my decision. A decision well thought through and considered.
"I'm leaving home, because that's how I feel at Real Madrid. I'm going with the clear conscience of someone who gave everything in every training session, in every minute in which I was lucky enough to wear the shirt, with the calm of having been important in an amazing year in which we lifted four trophies, a year that I'm sure neither you nor I will ever forget..."
Gracias. July 21, 2017
Morata is confident he has become a better player over the past year and paid tribute to his former coaches and team-mates for their successful season, with Madrid having won the Champions League, LaLiga, the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 2016-17.
"I only have words of thanks for Real Madrid. I'm the player that I am now thanks to this club," the striker continued. "I want to make the most of these lines of my farewell, which cannot be done in any other way, in order to say thank you: thank you to the president for having understood my vision, for understanding that I've made a decision and for respecting it.
"Thank you also to the coaching staff for everything they have helped me and supported me with, I am a better player than a year ago and it's thanks to them. Thank you also to my team-mates, with whom I shared an amazing season. Thank you to each and every one of the employees of the club who worked hard every day to make life easier for the players.
"And thank you, of course, to the fans, because since my return you have made me feel loved and valued, because you've always been there, from my presentation until the last night at Cibeles... Lastly, and most importantly, thank you to my wife, thank you to my family, to my agent and my friends, who are always there and never let you down."
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