Real Madrid's Nacho praises Saúl Ñíguez despite club rivalry

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Brendan Doherty

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Real Madrid defender Nacho spoke glowingly about his club rival Saúl Ñíguez after his performance for Spain.

The 26-year-old madrileño teased his national team-mate about wearing the colors from the wrong part of the city .

In his 11th appearance for Spain, Saúl scored his first goal for the national team in Saturday’s 2-1 win over England in the UEFA Nations League. The 13th minute equaliser earned him praise from Nacho who discussed the goal-scorer’s quality and club situation after the match.

“It’s a shame he plays for our rivals Atlético Madrid, but he’s been showing for a long time that he’s a great player,” Nacho said to the press.

Saúl was briefly enrolled in Real Madrid youth setup from 2006 to 2008, when he joined Atlético. The midfielder, who debuted with the senior team in March 2012, has since played over 200 times in all competitions for the Rojiblancos.

“He’s very young, but he’s still a great player. He showed it in London by having a great game and scoring a goal. Everything good that happens to him will be good for the national team. I’m very happy for him.”

Saúl was outstanding as Spain came from behind to defeat England at Wembley in the opening game of their UEFA Nations League campaign. The 23-year-old midfielder won the Copa del Rey in 2013 and the Europa League in both 2012 and 2018 with Atlético Madrid.

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