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Atletico and Real Madrid in champions league

Friday, May 23, 2014

MADRID- There are few players that represent the turnaround in Atletico Madrid's fortunes since the arrival of Diego Simeone as coach than Jorge Resurreccion, or Koke as he is more commonly known.

Simeone's own resurrection of Atletico has carried the club to four trophies in two and a half years including a first La Liga title in 18 years this season and into Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid in Lisbon.

A product of the Atletico youth academy, the 22-year-old midfielder has had a stellar season which has seen him become not just a regular in Simeone's set-up but also in the Spanish national team.

However, he didn't always seem destined for great things.

Koke was part of the Atletico side that was eliminated from the Copa del Rey by third-tier Albacete just days before Simeone's arrival in December 2011 and has admitted he was on the verge of leaving the club when the transfer market opened the following month.

"The manager told me to trust in him, that I wouldn't necessarily be a starter every week but to work hard because my opportunity would come. We believed in each other," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

That trust has borne spectacular success for both men as on top of being Atletico's top creator with 18 assists this season, Koke has also shown an eye for important goals amongst his tally of seven for the season.

He scored the winner in vital away victories at Real Sociedad, Malaga and Athletic Bilbao as well as scoring at home to Real Madrid in the 2-2 draw at the Vicente Calderon in March and the only goal of the game in the second leg as Atletico eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

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