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Saúl's Madrid apprenticeship marred by theft: "They even stole my boots, my packed lunch"

The midfielder revealed the difficulties he experienced during his time at Madrid's youth academy in an interview with 'El Mundo' published today.

Saúl's Madrid apprenticeship marred by theft: "They even stole my boots, my packed lunch"

Saúl Ñíguez habló en El Mundo ahead of tomorrow's derby against Real Madrid, the club where he spent his formative years. Regarding his time in Madrid's youth academy, he said: "I'm not hurt by what happened because it was a good experience in that I learned a lot of things, I matured a lot as a person". Saúl did however, mention the problems he suffered and the cause behind his departure from the club. "A lot of things happened off the field. The sporting side went well but some things happened which shouldn't happen to a kid of 11, 12 years of age. I had my boots stolen, my food, I was punished for soemthing I didn't do and I wasn't allowed at the training ground in Valdebebas for two weeks... Someone wrote a letter, signing it with my name and sent it to the coach... I said that the letter wasn't from me because I had nothing to do with it".

At least now Saúl has found happiness at Atlético: "Atleti is not just about the club crest, an emblem - it's all about the club's values: a way of living life. Humility, hard work, sacrifice, unity, the importance and strength of the team...". As for the team's chances of clinching the league, the player said, "We'll never give LaLiga up for lost; every game from now until the last day will be like a final to us and we'll try to win all of them". 

In a recent interview with AS, Saúl affirmed that: "If Atlético offered me a life-long contract, I'd sign it right now”, as a way of demonstrating his commitment to the Rojiblancos. As for the youth programme at Atleti, he added, "Atlético do things the right way with the youth team. For example, Gabi is 32 and has been at the club for a decade longer than players like Lucas, Óliver or myself. That means the the club has been doing a good job with the lower categories for a long time, not just now".


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