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Atletico Madrid captain Koke talks future and retirement plans: “We will see what happens”



Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

It is very difficult to find a one-club player in today’s modern and fast-moving world of football. While it is rare enough to hear of a player willing to commit his entire career to one institution, Lionel Messi’s story with Barcelona proves that sometimes even that is not enough.

That is what makes the story of Koke and Atletico Madrid special. The Spanish midfielder has been with the club through thick and thin, right from the tender age of six.

Now at 30, questions about his future are in the air. There has been a lot of speculation around whether or not Koke will end his career at the same club where he has played all his life. The Atletico Madrid captain responded to the speculation recently in an interview with DAZN.

“My idea has always been to retire here [at Atletico Madrid] but we will see what happens when my contract ends.

“I have two years left, this one and another, and my idea is to stay here. I don’t know what will happen, whatever has to come, welcome,” he said.

The midfielder signed a seven-year contract extension with Los Rojiblancos in 2017 and will be 32 years of age when his deal runs out in 2024.

While he is still the heart of the team’s midfield and going strong, the club may wish to make the inevitable transition to a younger midfield soon.

This season, Koke has participated in all eight games for his club, starting in seven. In that duration, he has racked up one assist and averaged close to eight defensive actions per game.

The 30-year-old is set to achieve a special milestone in Los Rojiblancos’ fixture against Sevilla on Saturday. At the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan, he will put on the red-and-white colours for the 554th time, making him the player with the most appearances in Atletico Madrid’s history.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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