Champions League
Liga Argentina

ATLÉTICO MADRID | KOKE

Koke: "I'm happy at Atleti. I see life in red and white"

Koke: "I'm happy at Atleti. I see life in red and white"

JESUS RUBIO

DIARIO AS

Youth academy graduate says offers don't turn his head and he intends to spend "many years" at his boyhood club.

Tomorrow you'll reach 200 games for Atlético...

You try to think about playing as much as you can for the team you support, and getting to that number with a big club like Atlético. I grew up here and it's an honour to have played so many matches in this shirt. But all I am thinking about it is playing more.

You've played many big games, is there on in particular that is special to you?

Probably the Supercup final against Chelsea, when we played a great game. Also against Chelsea in the Champions League in London, which was a spectacular game. The cup final in the Bernabéu, the league decider in Camp Nou... those are the games I remember, beautiful games.

On the other hand I imagine the Champions League final is in there...

Yes, that was a sad game. It was a great match but we didn't have the luck of other games. But results like that serve to make you mature, to learn, to continue trying to improve, to try and get to another final.

200 games at 23 years of age is impressive...

It's true that I'm young, but if I don't play now I don't when I would... I'm 23, I've got a lot to learn in the game and a lot of growing up to do, to be a better footballer. It's true that I've matured as well, but the more I play the better I'll get.

People often talk about you as Atlético's flag-bearer...

At the end of the day it's the team that achieves success. The boss is the flag-bearer of Atleti. He brought in all the players and we do what he asks of us. I'm not the leader of this team, although having a youth team presence is important. That there are people in the team who know what it means to be an Atlético supporter is a positive.

The season's halfway through and Atlético are third, and still in the cup and Europe...

The first half of the season has been good but it's important to have the challenge of improving week by week. The team can still get better.

And first up is turning round a 1-0 deficit in the cup against Barcelona...

The Calderón will be spectacular. It will be an amazing night, the stadium will be a furnace and the atmosphere will be incredible as always. It's a11 against 11, but it will be great night.

Diego Simone has said the tie is still open...

They have an advantage but we are going to go for the win. If one thing is true, it's thjat in football anything is possible.

Other clubs have made offers for you...

I'm cool about it, I see life in red and white. I'm happy here, the club is growing and I'm growing with it. I don't see any time or place when I'd leave. I'm happy to make Atlético fans happy, and I'd like to stay here forever but in football you never know. But if everybody is happy with the arrangement I'll be at Atleti for many years.

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