Koke has confessed that winning Euro 2016 with Spain would top Atletico Madrid’s League title victory in 2013-14.
Koke is among the 23 men vying for a starting berth in Spain’s first game of the European Championship against Czech Republic on Monday as La Roja seek a historic third crown in succession.
“As you approach the moment, you become even more eager to get going. When we were still in Madrid, we didn’t feel the atmosphere of the Euros, but once we arrived in France, we felt that little thing of wanting to play, that we’d already begun, to win games. And that time is coming,” the midfielder told Marca.
“We analysed [the loss to Georgia] and it’s clear that there were things we did wrong, but there were also others that we did well. There were positive things, so we can’t only think about the bad.
“Whenever something happens [in Spain], we only think about the negatives, that we’re a disaster, but things aren’t like this.
“It’s true that it was a friendly in which we were at a much higher level than Georgia, but this is football.
“Every time we play well then we’re the best, and if we lose then we’re worthless. We’re a country of alarmists, when things shouldn’t be like this. They have to value [the team], that the group are growing.
“I don’t know how [the Czechs] will play, but we have to think about ourselves. If we play properly, we’ll move the ball quickly, play with two touches and we put up a goal. We’re a very difficult team to beat.
“[I face the Euros] with a great desire. After that little failure [of the 2014 World Cup], so to speak, and losing the Champions League final, I’ve really wanted to play at the Euros even more, do well there and win a trophy this season.
“Hopefully I can [win a trophy] with my country. It would be the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“I see a bigger [Euros], and the teams who have more resources on their bench will have more chances of winning. You have to see how [the tournament] starts before you can talk about favourites.
“There are a lot of very good players here, and the lads who have been left out of the squad are also very good.
“We have a great group and anyone who the Coach plays will give everything. It’s essential that you can take off one player and put another in without [the change] being noticed.
“I try to do my best for the national team. It’s true that I haven’t played at my Atletico level [for Spain], it’s a different type of football, but I’m really eager to help. You’ll see the best Koke when I get that continuity.”