Top 5 Atlético Madrid academy graduates
The current Altético Madrid captain joined the club at a tender age of just eight years. He rose through the ranks at Atlético and made his first-team debut for the club in September 2009. Throughout his career till now, he has been a one-club man.
Koke is a right-footed midfielder, but his versatility allows him to play in many midfield positions, left, right and center. Koke is an excellent passer of the ball, and he can also create a chance or two for his teammates. Koke played his 400th official match for Altético for the club in January 2019, becoming the youngest player to do so, aged just 27.
Former Spain teammate and Barca legend Xavi once quoted about Koke- "He has everything: talent, physical ability, he is a footballer of the present and the future... He has been marked out as the conductor of Spain's orchestra for the next 10 years. I have a special affection for him because we play in the same position and I think he is an extraordinary player."
At Altético, he has already won many trophies in a remarkable career, including the likes of La Liga, UEFA Europa League(two times), Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España and two Uefa Super Cup titles.
#3 David de Gea
The current Man United goalkeeper is regarded by many as the best in his position. David De Gea is an elegant and athletic keeper, who is blessed with spectacular reflexes, agility, and world-class shot-stopping ability. He often comes out on top in one-on-one situations and has the tenacity to change a game on his own with his excellent goalkeeping skills.
De Gea joined Altético Madrid at the age of 13. He grew up in Altético's youth setup and made his first-team debut for them aged 18 in 2009. In his playing career, De Gea has replaced two goalkeeping legends in Iker Casillas, and Edwin Van der Sar in between the sticks in Spain and United respectively.
In an illustrious career, De Gea has been named in the PFA Team of the year four times. The current Spain No.1 also holds the record for joint highest saves(14) in a single game in the Premier League, against Arsenal in a 3-1 win in December 2017.
De Gea has won many major honors to date, including two UEFA Europa Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup, a Premier League title in 2012-13, an FA Cup and an EFL Cup.
Published 14 Jan 2020, 14:09 IST