Koke Resurrección is one of the greatest representatives of Atlético de Madrid. Having been trained in the youth ranks of Los Rojiblancos and a member of the first team since 2009, Koke has made history and played in hundreds of matches with the team, experiencing decisive moments, finals and celebrations. But now, the Madrid native is about to take another record-breaking step in his career, becoming the player with the most appearances in the history of Atlético de Madrid.
His time at the capital city club has allowed him to spend years celebrating victories or going through defeats with the fans. For the boy who arrived in the Atlético de Madrid youth academy before the age of 10, this is a dream come true. He has stayed linked to the club since then and is now the captain and leader of the institution. He has lifted the LaLiga Santander title twice, a Spanish Super Cup, two Europa Leagues, a Copa del Rey and two European Super Cups.
Koke has played with the No.6 on his back since the 2012/13 season, after previously wearing the No.19, the No.32 and the No.26, with all those early stages helping him become what he is today. Koke represents the past and present of one of the biggest clubs in the world and is a legend of Los Rojiblancos. He has even evolved with the team, moving from the Vicente Calderón to the Cívitas Metropolitano with the red and white stripes on his shirt and, now, with the captain’s armband.
This week, Koke is preparing for one of the most significant games of his life. This time it’s not a final to win a European trophy or to become a LaLiga Santander champion again, at least for now. But, this match will be underlined in bold letters in the record books of the club that took him in as a boy. That’s because Koke will equal Adelardo as the player with the most official appearances for Atlético de Madrid.
Adelardo made his debut for the capital city outfit in 1959 and played for them until 1976, making 553 official appearances. He shared a team with other names that today can be seen in the club’s museum (or heard in the centenary anthem) such as Luis Aragonés, José Ufarte, Leivinha…
Koke has already left behind other club legends in the ranking to become the player with the most games, surpassing Fernando Torres, with 404 games, or the legendary Luis Aragonés, with 370. He leads his teammates, many of whom are also part of the club’s history, such as Jan Oblak, with 359 games played, or Saúl Ñíguez and Ángel Correa, with 345 and 335 respectively.
This historic fixture and occasion will be a home game for Koke, and he’ll equal Adelardo in one of the most important match-ups of the season, against the club’s rivals. He’ll reach the record number at the Cívitas Metropolitano in the Madrid Derby against Real Madrid on Sunday 18th September. This match, against Los Blancos, is one that the midfielder has already participated in 33 times (two less, for now, than Adelardo), although he is still far from being the player who has featured in the most Madrid Derbies. That is Sergio Ramos, with 43 Madrid Derbies on his record, ahead of other legendary players in the history of Madrid’s football scene, such as Gento or Sanchís.
This will be a special day for Koke in what has been a special career for the club. The player who has just turned 30 has spent a whole life in white and red, though he still has many more games to play and can further add to a record that already converts him into a history-maker, putting his name in bold letters on the walls of the club museum.