Atlético has arrived in the middle of LaLiga with 50 points, eight victories in a row, an unbeatable step despite the setbacks and a more colorful and combinative football than in years past. It’s being the League of Luis Suárez (Pichichi with 14 goals), Oblak (Zamora with 10 goals against), Llorente (six goals and five assists), João Félix, Correa … and as always from Koke.
The captain does not monopolize the spotlight, but he is probably the most essential player in Simeone’s scheme. The footballer is always ready to leave his skin for the needs of the team, although that means shining less near the rival area. Against Cádiz, Koke had the award for his work with his first goal in this league, the tenth consecutive in which it gets it. From debut against Sevilla in the 2010-11 season, has always managed to see the door at least twice per course in the competition. With Cholo, their numbers were magnified in all areas, reaching 14 assists in the 2015-16 season (is the midfielder with most goal passes of the decade) and the five goals in the 2013-14 academic year (plus 13 assists), where he lifted the title.
But this season, the new mattress style and the moment of form of players like Lemar they have led him to accumulate many minutes at the pivot. The player who goes down to initiate the attack plays, who stays covering their backs when their teammates go up lines to prevent the team from breaking and who orders and commands closing the center of the field. Koke is the third Atlético player with the most minutes in the league (1,434), only surpassed by Oblak (1,710) and Savic (1,530). The match in Eibar has only been lost due to suspension, where the team noted his absence a lot, although ended up getting the victory with a double from Suárez and his Panenka in the 89th minute.
If it was a challenge to see Koke in the double pivot with continuity throughout the course, since Simeone used to end up shooting the band for his capacity for work and physical display, in the pivot continues to be the thermometer of the equipment. The Vallecano adds 993 good passes in the League, of which 566 are in the opposite field. They are followed on the list by Hermoso (861), Savic (768) and Trippier (589). About to hit 1,000 good shipments, has a 90.6% success rate, the one that more than the staff above Herrera (89.2) and Torreira (88.12). He is the 10th player in the competition with the most good passes on a list led by Parejo (1,329), De Jong (1,316) and Kroos (1,214).
In addition, the mattress captain is also the player who steals the most from Atlético. Koke has 99 recoveries, for Llorente’s 86 and Hermoso’s 82. If he plays against Celta, the mattress midfielder will exceed 1,000 passes and 100 steals in a position where he carries out a darker work, less showy than other seasons, but just as or more important. While, Koke is two games away from catching Tomás Reñones as the second player with the most matches played in the club’s history.
El ‘6’, the only player who has lived with Simeone since the coach’s first day on the rojiblanco bench, has 481 official matches for rojiblanco, for 483 for Tomás and only surpassed by 553 for Adelardo. The heart of this Atlético, living history of the club, who dreams of being able to lift the league title at the end of the season in what would be the first trophy with Koke serving as first captain. Of course, without leaving match by match that has taken him to the rojiblanco podium and that, if he continues like this, It will help him to be the footballer with the most games in the history of Atlético de Madrid.