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Koke eager for Spain´s new generation to shine at Euros

Koke wants Spain to start building a new era of success at Euro 2016.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder was part of the 2014 World Cup squad dumped out at the group stage, ending Spain’s sensational run of triumphs in three consecutive international tournaments.

Vicente del Bosque’s team face Romania on Sunday to continue preparations for the defence of their European Championship crown and Koke is hopeful players like himself who were not involved in 2008, 2010 and 2012 can make their mark this time around.

“We did not do a good World Cup and the Euros are chance for a revalidation,” the 24-year-old told a news conference on Saturday. “There has been a great generational change.”

Koke came on as a half-time substitute during Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Italy and he is relishing a fierce battle for places in Del Bosque’s final 23-man squad over the coming weeks – starting at Cluj Arena.

“Wearing the shirt of the national team is always beautiful and it will be a special match against Romania,” he added.

“We have the Euros close and we are very excited. All players want to be on the list and we have to give everything for the team.

“I feel comfortable in the position put to me and what excites me is to play where the coach needs me.”

Real Madrid defender Nacho is expected to have the chance to press his claims, having replaced Sergio Ramos at half-time in Udine before his club captain returned to Madrid with a back injury.

“I appreciate the confidence of my coach,” Nacho said. “I think the central defensive position is well covered.

“Whatever the opponent, representing Spain is always a pleasure. It will be a tough match.”

Sat 26 Mar, 2016
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