Koke: Spain can achieve big things

Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke is confident that the new generation of Spain's players can help the national team reclaim glory on the world stage.

The 25-year-old is one of a number of players within the La Fuia Roja squad that formed part of the Under-21 European Championship-winning side of 2013.

Koke believes Julen Lopetegui's men have what it takes to emulate the success of their predecessors, although he is under no illusion regarding the difficulties that they face.

"It's good that we're picking up the baton because there's a very good generation coming through," he told FIFA's official website.

"With the ones who are already here, who've won the lot practically, we can achieve some big things.

"We know it's going to be very difficult to match the achievements of the past when we won the European title, the World Cup and another European title. 

"The generation that's coming through has big dreams for the future, though, and above all they want to work really hard. And in the end, it's hard work that's going to bring us success."

Koke also touched on Spain’s chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup as they currently sit joint-top alongside Italy with 10 points taken from their four matches played in Group G.

"It's a very competitive group, especially with Spain and Italy in it," he continued. "And Israel are doing really well too. We've got a very important match coming up against the Israelis now and we have to come away with a result. 

"It's going to be very tight right up to the end. As we say at Atleti, it's one match at a time. We know that anything can happen and that we can't afford to slip up."