Atlético Madrid midfielder Koke is getting ready to play the Champions League Final against Real Madrid this Saturday. But he could be watching it on TV, had he joined Barcelona.
Koke, one of the most integral parts of Diego Simeone's system, spoke in a radio interview mainly about the Saturday decider, but he was also asked about the unstoppable links with Barça. Koke was regarded as the New Xavi Hernández, and there were talks of a big offer from the Catalan giants when coach Luis Enrique first took charge.
There was no real confirmation of an offer until now, but Koke admitted it and also revealed the reason for rejecting the approach from the Blaugrana and the decision to stay a Colchonero.
"Something happened with Barça. But we had just won a La Liga title (2014), and I'm part of the best moment in a long time for the club, and something this good will not happen again for several years. This is a club with over 100 years of history and I'm part of the best years. How can I leave? How can I miss this?"
Source: RAC1 via Mundo Deportivo
Now this is finally confirmed. Barça did make an offer for Koke, and he rejected it. And his reasoning makes me respect the guy a lot. Not once do you read the word "money" in that sentence. He wanted to stay out of loyalty and sporting success.
Well done, Koke.