Why Spanish soccer star channeled Kittle's celebration

Koke and George Kittle

If 49ers tight end George Kittle didn't have a favorite Spanish soccer team before last month, he does now.

Koke, a Spanish midfielder for La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid, honored Kittle by using the tight end's signature first-down celebration when he scored a goal in the 88th minute of a 4-2 win over Cádiz CF.

Atléti's 29-year-old captain earned a retweet from the All-Pro tight end after scoring, and Koke revealed to the club's in-house media team that he's a burgeoning NFL fan (h/t @rickyam).

"One of the players I have [in fantasy football] is George Kittle -- he's an incredible tight end," Koke, who said he's a New England Patriots fan, told the club in an interview conducted in Spanish. "He also does the Zero Miedo celebration. I decided to celebrate like that for my friends if I scored a goal. It's also me paying tribute to the player and the NFL."

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Koke's goal was his first of the season in all competitions, so honoring Kittle -- and his friends in his fantasy football league -- after breaking a year-long drought means the midfielder must've had paying tribute to the 49ers star on his mind of a while.

National Tight Ends Day just might have to go international later this year.

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