Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has confessed he was bullied during his time at Real Madrid’s youth system. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the Spaniard revealed he was punished and got robbed at Valdebebas, among other things.
Niguez was a Los Blancos player until he turned 12 years old, when he moved to city rivals Atletico. He certainly doesn’t have good memories of what happened to him while at Real.
“On the field things were fine. But off the field, some things happened which shouldn’t happen to a kid of 11, 12 years of age,” Niguez explained.
“I had my boots stolen, my food, I was punished for something I didn’t do and I wasn’t allowed at the training ground in Valdebebas for two weeks. Someone wrote a letter and passed it to the coach claiming I had written it. I said it wasn’t me because in truth it hadn’t been me who wrote it,” the 21-year-old said.
Asked about what he feels when he recalls those problems at Real, Niguez explained: “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”.
Niguez is now a crucial man for Atletico Madrid and he is expected to start against Los Merengues in today’s derby.
Asked about these confessions, Los Merengues manager Zinedine Zidane laughed at the press conference before the game: “I’m just thinking about the game. If Saul had a bad time at Real Madrid, I’m sorry, but I’m fine here.”