Koke, more gallons than ever

The midfielder, captain and undisputed in Atlético and one of the icons of Cholismo, is also one of the leaders of Spain. It is the best moment of his career.


Koke is enjoying football possibly like never before. This 2021 has given him the opportunity to lift his first title as captain of Atlético, also being a fundamental piece in Simeone's plan. This great performance in the center of the field served to convince Luis Enrique to take him back to the National Team. And in the European Championship it is indisputable. A footballer with stripes, one of the veterans despite his 29 years. The most mature Koke becomes a giant in the field.

"I like to be in contact with the ball, manage the game and at Atleti we have taken a little quality leap", he told El País before the decisive duel against Slovakia to give one of the keys to his weighty return to Spain, Well, after two years without going, he is now a permanent holder for the coach. And he wants the ball. For this reason, Kroos is the only midfielder who has given more passes than Koke in this European Championship. Against Sweden he delivered 103 (93% correct), with Poland they were 50 (in 68 ') and in the hand to Slovakia, 65 with 92% correct. You are facing a great opportunity and you are not hiding.

He has also emerged as one of the armbandless captains of this wardrobe. Without Sergio Ramos, there are those who have perceived a lack of leadership, aggravated by the absence of Busquets due to the coronavirus. Alba happened to be the veteran, helped by Koke and Azpilicueta. The Atlético player is one of the most experienced players and the captaincy in his team has also given him a residue that is noticeable in his statements and his nods to the fans, for example, returning the applause at the end of the La Cartuja games. And as a clever footballer, like that "don't touch him, don't touch" Morata, so that Slovak goalkeeper Dubravka would not be needed in the play of 0-1.

Koke tries to transfer to the National Team everything he has learned at Atlético, as captain and as a footballer, where he has been one of the best footballers in the League. Unquestionable for Simeone, he has adopted a new role, almost as a single center midfielder, where he possibly looks less, hardly adds goals and assists, but is fundamental. Koke and ten others. Together with Llorente, Lemar, Saúl, Herrera… he has been the link between the midfield and the attack.

He is the extension of Simeone on the pitch and a footballer that his teammates trust. And he, despite apparently not having the temperament of Gabi and Godín, has known how to pull the car in difficult moments, which were also at Atleti. And he always trusted his own, when the results did not come out and pessimism took over the environment. This was, for example, that message that moved in which Koke was convinced that they were going to be League champions. "If it were easy, we would not be Atleti ...". Now follow that line in the Selection.

Koke continues to grow quietly. As Atlético captain, he has already looked Neptuno in the eye and with the National Team he is assuming stripes and helping to weather the turbulent moments. Neither avoids responsibility nor weighs on him. The best version of Koke, luxury midfielder, leader and even father of a family that Leo could enjoy, whom he walked through La Cartuja. Luis Enrique enjoys the Koke of 2021 and Simeone knows that in the project of defending the title, the captain is one of its pillars.

Photos from as.com
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