Selection | Koke, bridge between generations

Selection |  Koke, bridge between generations


Today, and together with Thiago, absent in this call, Jorge Resurrección Koke (8-1-1992) plays a very symbolic role in the National Team. Debuting with Del Bosque in August 2013, it fell to the Atlético player to take over from Xavi, spend a few more years with Iniesta and, now, try to teach and give advice to young people like Pedri, Gavi or Carlos Soler. And, almost at the same time, try to protect the post from him. “I have always said that I am privileged to have played with the best like Xavi and Iniesta; and now I am also privileged to be alongside Pedri and Gavi. They have a spectacular future and present. I see them well, I am enjoying them and you have to try to make the most of them,” Koke said yesterday in the press room at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague.

In May 2014, and before the morrocotudo crash in the World Cup in Brazil that had already been announced in the final of the Confederations of the previous year, Luis Martín, editor of El País, wrote a premonitory story. “I’m going to tell you one thing: in this locker room I only see a footballer who looks hungry. And without hunger, we’re not going to win anything.” It was an internal message from Del Bosque to the locker room. And the coach was referring to Koke, who had just won the League with Atlético. In Brazil, after the first and humiliating defeat against the Netherlands (1-5), Del Bosque shook the tree and killed Xavi against Chile and Australia. Koke played 45 minutes against the South Americans and the entire match at the farewell to the World Cup.The relay had been completed.

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Koke's photo

Koke also accompanied the end of Iniesta. Never until the last European Championship was he indisputable in the big tournaments, but in the last European Championship Luis Enrique entrusted many things to his leadership. A player with caste, experience and a tremendous sense of the collective that now, however, sees his position “threatened” by youngsters like Carlos Soler. For kids like Pedri. And almost by children like Gavi. A process that, without a doubt, he is able to assimilate due to his sense of captaincy. He has already played 63 games with the National Team in which, by the way, he has not been able to score a single goal. Yesterday he lamented: “I’d like to score goals for the National Team as well. But if I don’t score I’ll also be happy if we win. It couldn’t be and the important thing is that the team wins.”

What Koke never tires of is enjoying himself on the pitch even though the season ends on June 12. “Honestly, I like to play football and I love my job. I don’t know if it can lower performance when playing when you have so many games, but today’s squads are wide. Personally, I like my work. And, as Bernardo Silva said, it is what it is”. Except for surprise, Koke will start today in Prague. Luis Enrique still reserves an exceptional place for him in the group and he is one of those who has, except for a major surprise, a fixed place in the World Cup.

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