Koke leads Spain U19 to European Championship

Atlético players preparing for international tournaments

Koke holds off an English opponent (Uefa.com)

Koke holds off an English opponent (Uefa.com)

Spain U19 have qualified for the Under-19 European Championship to be played in Romania next month. In the final qualifying round they topped a group with Switzerland, Montenegro and England.

Atlético youngster Koke started all three games and was, along with Valencia playmaker Isco, Spain’s best and most consistent performer. He was one of the holding midfielders in Lopetegui’s 4-2-3-1 formation and played in a position that comes more natural to him than the wide role he was given this season by Quique Sánchez Flores.

The young Spaniards dominated their games and Koke was the main outlet for both the defence and attack to maintain possession.

Spain U19 won their matches against Switzerland (2-1) and Montenegro (3-0) and only needed a draw in the final game against England (1-1). Koke captained the side in the last match after Barcelona’s Marc Muniesa suffered an injury.

Koke might not actually play the European Championship U19, because the tournament coincides with the World Cup U20 in Colombia, to which he is more likely to travel.

De Gea and Domínguez preparing for U21 Tournament

Meanwhile Spain’s U21 team is preparing for the European U21 Championship which kicks off next weekend. If the Rojita reach the semi finals then they’ll also qualify for the Olympics next year.

Yesterday they played a friendly match against Russia (1-1) with Álvaro Domínguez in the starting line-up, while David de Gea was left out as a precautionary measure. The goalkeeper will be fit in time to start against England in Spain U21’s first match on Sunday.

Rubén Pérez, loaned to Deportivo, is also part of the U21 squad and featured the last 20 minutes.

Over in South America five Atlético players are preparing for the Copa América which starts on the first of July. Throughout the tournament we will keep you up-to-date on the performances of Agüero, Elias, Perea and our Uruguayan duo Diego Forlán and Diego Godín!

  • Ringo Schut

    Koke is the maestro we needed, we just need a coach to realize it!
    He is the perfect Tiago replacement and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s better in a year or two.
    Partner him with Mario and/or Elias and big things could happen!
    Good luck to all those guys at their tournaments 😉

  • 7th

    I love this guy already, will be big hit in two years.

  • Charvi

    Always thought he is a winger, he played so good here this season…

  • Davide

    Charvi// Koke is the holding “defensive” midfielder and Keko is the right winger. Alot of people confuse them together. They are from the same canterabatch and are the same age. Winger Keko is also a big talent but has had some problems developing his game the last year, even though he was excellent during loan spell att Valladolid. I believe both Koke and Keko will be great players for the club.

  • 7th

    @davide, do you know anything about keko? is he gonna come back to atletico. or will be sold. i saw him a few times. i think he is better than juanfran. he should be called back

  • Derek Maaijen

    Keko will return to the club this summer and normally would join the first team in pre-season. I have a feeling he will be loaned out again though, but maybe our new coach will want to keep him around

  • 7th

    goooooooooooooood, hope he stays,

  • SoLobo

    By the way, a newspaper in Greece suggests that Mario Suarez is to be transfered to Olympiakos, but we are demanding an unreasonable amount of money for him! Such a joke!

  • javi

    As.com, reports that Cerezo has had an about face from this morning when he said Toto Salvio was going to have a bright future with Atleti and apparently now he is finishing the terms of his sale…


  • Sweden

    Toto should stay!

  • Davide

    I ‘m afraid that Salvio is being shipped of for non eu-status. Also after a game yesterday in the Brasileiro the studio was talking about Flamenco attacker Ronaldinho to Atlético. If Toto is being shipped to make way for party animal Ronaldinho i will loose all faith.

    If Mario gets shipped to Olympiacos i will tear down that Atlético office myself with a sledge hammer. Mario, Koke och Peréz is the ” FC Barcelona” version future of Atlético midfield.

    Also they need to promote winger Cedric when he returns from Numancia. One of the most talented youngster in the club. He is fast as hell! He is still paying the price for a single mistake he did in one game.

    We also need some older players with international game credentials to balance the team. som bosman cases this summer i would look at is…

    Van Bommel – bosman
    Torsten Frings – bosman, 34 year old hardcore holding midfielder with experience galore (personal favorite)
    Andre Ooijer – bosman, tough defender

    Some free younger players

    Anthony Vanden Borre – bosman, 23 year old Belgian international and Genk rightback/winger
    Sebastian Larsson- bosman. Arsenalproduct, Swedish international plays for Birmingham, right midfielder with on of the best free kicks, crosses and corners in the business, Scandinavias Beckham.
    Victor Obinna- bosman, talented 24 year old striker, West Ham (very underrated player).

  • Sweden

    I really feel sorry for Salvio, the club hasn’t been treating him good. Sebastian Larsson would be a great signing, not only because I’m swedish but he really has a lot of class.

  • Ringo Schut

    Van Bommel or Frings could be helpful, but I think Ooijer would not be, he is wise and experienced but there’s no space for him.
    Don’t know about the younger ones, sadly I don’t really know Larsson, but if Salvio does stay, I think he’d be q stupid signing.
    Piatti and Salvio on the wings would do it for me

  • SoLobo

    Gregorio Manzano could be our new coach offically tonight according to AS…

  • Herro

    I think he is, don’t know what to think of that really, could have got a hole lot better coach as usual i guess.. What formation do you think he will play with?

  • 7th

    I so wanted luis enrique. i still dont know anything about him.

  • 7th

    it seems we willl thrashed by real madrid 6-0 next season

  • Javi

    Don’t believe it the other day-according to media-we were finalizing terms with Caparros

  • Isco from Valencia and Juanmi from Málaga haven’t been too bad for the U-19’s either 😛