Niguez extends contract with Atletico Madrid

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Madrid, July 1 (IANS) Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has extended his contract with the Spanish top division football club till 2026.

The 22-year-old midfielder extended his contract for five more seasons and will be able to complete 14 seasons in the first team, if he remains until the end of his commitment, since he debuted in 2012, Efe quoted a club statement on Saturday.

His original contract was supposed to end in 2021.

Niguez played in the European Under-21 Championship with Spain, which lost the final on Friday to Germany 1-0, and the midfielder was the top scorer of the tournament with five goals.

“I am very happy because at Atletico we are a family and there is no better place to be,” said the player from Elche, who has been in the first Rojiblanco team for the past three seasons.

Saul reached Atletico’s youth academy in 2007, in 2011 he went on to Atletico Madrid B and a year later he debuted with the first team in a Europa League match against Turkish side Besitkas in March 2012, barely 17 years old.

The following season he participated in 11 meetings with the first team between La Liga, Cop del Rey and Europa League.

During the season 2013-14 he was loaned to Rayo Vallecano, where he was offered a great season in which he played 34 La Liga matches and three in Copa del Rey, and scored two goals.

Saul returned to Atletico in the 2014-15 season, in which he played 35 games, scored 4 goals and helped the team in the Supercopa de España. In 2015-16 he played 48 games in all competitions and scored 9 goals, including the Champions League final against Real Madrid which Atletico lost on penalties.

Last season he played 53 matches and scored another nine goals, being already a fundamental part of coach Diego Simeone’s plan.

The sports director of Atletico Madrid, Jose Luis Perez Caminero, highlighted Saúl as “an example for all the kids” in the youth academy of the Rojiblancos.

“Ñiguez is “an example of giving, teamwork, solitary on the field and an impressive quality. He is an all-around player, with great aerial power, an amazing long distance shooting skill, a tireless worker, a young player with lots of experience,” Caminero said.

–IANS

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