Saúl Ñíguez gave an interview to ‘El Mundo’ newspaper in which he recalled the hell that he went through when he left Elche, aged 11, to spend a year at the Real Madrid academy.
“Things happened off the pitch. The footballing side of things was great, but it was those other things that happened away from the game, things that that an 11 to 12-year-old boy couldn’t handle. They used to steal my boots and food.
They also banned me from Valdebebas for two weeks for things that I hadn’t done… They handed the coach a letter that they said I’d written… I said I hadn’t written it because I really hadn’t”, he revealed.
Saúl chose to leave Real Madrid and join cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid. “I always had plenty of self-belief as a kid. I knew it wasn’t the end of the world when I left Real Madrid and that I would play anywhere I could. I just wanted to have fun”.