One day after signing a contract extension with Atletico Madrid that will run through 2021, Saul Niguez returned his focus towards the Champions League final that could be a historical night for his club.
The Rojiblancos face Real Madrid on May 28 in a rematch of the 2014 final, which Los Blancos won in extra time, but the 21-year-old said that Atletico are not out for revenge.
“If Real Madrid are a superior team, they will need to prove it on the field,” he told Radio MARCA on Thursday.
“The final in Milan is not a rematch of Lisbon, or a chance for revenge, but rather it is a chance to make history.”
Saul has had a breakout season in the Spanish capital, starting 26 league games and playing in all 12 European matches.
His stunning goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final and subsequent inclusion in Spain’s provisional squad for Euro 2016 had led some to speculate that he could leave Madrid this summer.
Instead, the Elche native committed his future to Diego Simeone’s team.
“Atletico is the best place to continue growing,” he explained.
“I am very happy to continue to fight in this shirt, it is a dream to stay here.”
The midfielder went out of his way to praise teammates Antoine Griezmann, Jan Oblak and Fernando Torres during the interview, and said that “few teams are as closely knit as we are.”
He also told MARCA that his relationship with Simeone made the decision to stay an easy one.
“The confidence that I have in him and he has in me is what has made me grow.”
Saul was recently included in coach Vicente del Bosque’s 25-man squad for the European Championship, which will be trimmed to 23 players before the end of the month.
He has made 51 appearances for La Roja at the youth level, but has never played for the senior team.
“I am very happy to be in the provisional team, and hopefully I will be at the tournament,” he said.
“I need to keep my feet on the ground and keep on working.”