Koke learning from pass masters

Koke learning from pass masters

Koke learning from pass masters

Spain midfielder Koke is learning from the experience of midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta at the World Cup, his first major international tournament.

"Each day I am picking up more and they have a lot to teach," he told a news conference on Wednesday about the pair who helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the last two European Championships.

"What I notice most of all is their speed of thought, they see the play before it happens," Koke said.

"I concentrate as well on trying to pick up things from the other players. They all have a strong mentality and make playing football seem easy."

The 22-year-old made his debut for the national side a year ago but developed rapidly last season and was an integral part of Atletico Madrid's La Liga-winning side.

Koke’s ways

He generally seeks to drift in from the left wing and link up play but he is also adept at playing in the middle of the pitch as he showed in Spain's friendly against El Salvador last weekend.

It was an accomplished display by Koke but while he would be a certain starter in most international sides, the quality that Spain possess means he is likely to be on the bench in their first Group B match against the Netherlands on Friday.

"Spain has a winning mentality and the same philosophy, which is to go out and play their own style, that they have been doing for years now. That is the basis for our success," Koke said.

The Netherlands are set to play a defensive formation against Spain with five at the back but Koke's team-mate Javi Martinez, who can either play in central midfield or defence, is wary of their threat on the break.

"Their biggest worry is their three in attack, three world-class players," the Bayern Munich player told a news conference referring to Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder.

"Robben finds space well and so we will have to do a good job to control him.

"There is a lot of pressure not to lose the first game as we did in South Africa.

We showed that time that it is not crucial but you want to start on a good foot and a win also boosts your confidence even if we were champions four years ago."