Saul Niguez wants to play for Spain but isn’t going to believe he’s in Vicente Del Bosque’s thoughts until he’s called up.
The Atletico Madrid midfielder has had more playing time this season than last, partly due to the broken leg suffered by Tiago Mendes, and has been touted as a future senior international.
“I’ll explain what it means to me when it happens. Until it does, I won’t believe it,” he said in an interview with AS.
“My national team is the Under-21s and I want to help the team reach the European Championships.
“The only thing that has changed is I’m getting more minutes. Nothing has changed internally. I work as much now as I did before. The worst thing is a great person and player like Tiago is injured. We’re praying he’s back soon to help the team.”
Saul, a home-grown player who says he’d stay with Atletico for life if possible, also explained what Diego Simeone has meant to his career.
“When I was 17 I got to play against Besiktas. Then he told me to my face I was going out on loan,” he recalled.
“That honesty is what I value most. He has always trusted me and gave me the opportunity. I’ll be eternally grateful.
“I have a lot of things to improve on. I’m playing more regularly, but you have to work and improve. At 21, you learn something every day. If you think you know everything it’s the beginning of the end. I’m a sponge, I absorb everything.”