Koke ‘proud’ at Xavi comparison

Koke insists he wants to stay with Atletico Madrid but admits to being flattered at comparisons to Barcelona icon Xavi Hernandez.

Xavi left Camp Nou at the end of the season, signing for Al-Sadd, and Koke has been mentioned as a long-term target of the Barca hierarchy.

Koke has stepped into the Spain midfield in the absence of the internationally-retired veteran and he was asked what he made of the comparison.

“In the end, Xavi is Xavi. He gave everything for the national team and for Barcelona. He’s decided to move on and now it’s up to other people,” the midfielder told Sport.

“The comparison with Xavi is for other people to make. I want to be remembered as Koke, with my own qualities. I’m just starting out and there is a long way to go.

“I’m proud to think I could replace Xavi. I try to work hard, do my best and in any case, it means I’m doing the right thing with my club and I’m happy.

“I have a contract. I’m very happy at my current home and I feel very comfortable. We’re growing and so far, I see no reason to leave. I don’t need to because I am very happy at Atleti.

“There are people [who stayed at one club for all or most of their career]. Xavi, Iker Casillas, Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, Francesco Totti in Rome…I could be one of them, but you never know.

“I’m young, 23, I want to keep growing here, winning every trophy, and I will fight for that.”

Tags Koke Spain Xavi Hernandez