Full Name: Saúl Ñíguez Esclápez
Team: Atlético B
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Birth Date: November 21, 1994
Birth Place: Alicante, Spain
Height: 5 feet 11 ½ inches
Saúl comes from a family with a rich footballing tradition. Both of his older brothers, Jonathan and Aaron, were developed at Valencia’s cantera and have had fruitful careers thus far, currently playing for Guadalajara and Almeria respectively. Saúl’s father, José Antonio Ñíguez (aka Boria), had a successful career and, to this day, remains one of the most loved players in the history of the Spanish club Elche. Saúl is only seventeen and has the potential to eclipse the careers of all of his family members. He started his career in the Real Madrid youth system but was transferred to neighbours Atlético Madrid in 2008, at only fourteen years old. Manager Quique Sanchez Flores noticed the youngster’s burgeoning talent and he had the teenager training with the first team many times during his tenure.
Last season, Saúl made his senior debut with Atlético’s reserve side who play in Spain’s third division; his first goal came against Extremadura UD where he helped the Colchoneros to a 3-1 victory. It was the only goal of his first season for the attacking midfielder. At the beginning of this season, he joined the first team for pre-season training and he made his debut with the Atleti in their Europa League win against Beşiktaş. He became the youngest player to ever debut for Atlético in Europe at seventeen years old but only feature for the last six minutes of the match. He is an exciting prospect and Atlético’s supporters chanted his name during his brief debut.
Saúl has featured for his national team at the U16 through U19 levels and Vicente del Bosque has even given him chances to train with the senior national team, a great honor for such a young player. He has some fierce competition in the national squad at his position, with Manchester City player, Denis Suárez, and Liverpool prospect, Suso, vying for his spot. Saúl will get his chance and will be one to watch for a long time to come.