Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke said it is a dream to play for his boyhood club and believes his team can go all the way in the Champions League this season.
Koke joined Atletico at eight years of age and remembers idolising his team-mate Fernando Torres before the Spanish striker moved to Liverpool.
“All of the kids wanted to be like him,” Koke told AS.
“We’d say: ‘If he can do it, so can we.’ We had that dream… And I was lucky enough to see it come true.”
Since making his first team debut in 2009, Koke has played with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan and said it was hard to choose one who impressed him the most, but said the current crop could achieve something special in 2016.
“[Personally, 2015] was a bit of everything – some complicated moments after so many injuries, others when I wasn’t at my best and some when I was,” he said.
“[The team have] gone through big changes in personnel with new players coming in. Younger players, good footballers, who have been adapting and we reached our objective which was to finish third.
“I think next year will be even better – at least I am hoping so.
“[The Champions League is] what all of us dream about – the fans and the players. But we also have to be realistic, we know how difficult it is but it’s an objective for the fans who want us to win everything and we feel the same as they do.
“The club’s objective is to make sure we qualify for the Champions League every year and try to qualify from the group stage.
“Let’s hope we can reach the final again – and maybe win it, why not?”