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Resurrection Man: Koke's form carrying Atleti

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The canterano leads La Liga in assists and has been crucial for Diego Simeone of late

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

When he was a child, Jorge "Ke Orgulloso Ke Está" Resurreción played all day long, his mother recalls in the Spanish soccer player’s biography: in the morning, in the afternoon and after dinner. "Sometimes," she tells, "he also slept with the ball."

Today, with a bunch of matches to go and the squad back strong into La Liga title race, Koke has been playing a pivotal role in the resurrection of both Atlético Madrid and Fernando Torres (who moreover is likely to renew his contract for the next two seasons) as he supplied the assist for four of El Niño’s last five goals.

In a key moment of the Primera División season, Koke politely (as per his style) knocked on Atletico’s main door and Diego Simeone decided to use him like a proper number 10, asking for speed and fantasy to support Antoine Griezmann as well as Fernando. And he’s done it, quietly and with a positive, enthusiastic attitude, acting like the perfect picture of a side where everything seems impeccable as it plays like one man and everyone plays for each other.

In a way, Koke’s re-emergence calls to mind the 2013-2014 campaign, when the Spanish midfielder is back to play every game as the man of the match. Simeone remains down to earth though, since however extraordinary it may be, it could not be enough.

In fact, as the Argentinian manager pointed out during his last press conference, the only thing Atleti can do now is "win, win, and win again" to get to a fantastic second title in three years.

Koke, the player who in FIFA 11 had a rating of 65 while just a year later got to 83, the defensive midfielder turned into fleshy whirlpool in the rojiblancos’ midfield, stays focused and confident of his form as he continues to give his contribution for what will be a formidable end of the season.