Spain world cup

Spain news: Saul eyeing starting role

1 year ago

In the latest Spain news, Saul Niguez has vowed to give manager Julen Lopetegui a selection headache as he looks to win a starting spot at the World Cup.

The 23-year-old has established himself as a regular for Atletico Madrid since making his senior debut in 2012.

He made 36 appearances for the capital-based outfit in 2017-18, having started 35 of those, and his exploits led to a call from Spain boss Lopetegui.

After helping Atleti to win the Europa League and finish second in La Liga he is one of the new generation looking to make a name for himself at the showpiece event.

Saul was named in the provisional squad for Euro 2016, however, he failed to make the final cut and didn’t actually make his senior debut until September 2016 against Belgium.

The midfielder, who continued to pick up caps with the Under-21 side, was crowned top scorer at the 2017 European Under-21 Championship, having netted a hat-trick in the semi-final victory over Italy.

Lopetegui handed Saul more opportunities during the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and he is guaranteed a seat on the plane to Russia as long as he avoids injury.

Spain, who can be backed at 13/2 to win the World Cup with Betfred, are going in hunt of just their second World Cup crown and will need everyone to pull together in order to achieve that ambition.

The Atleti man insists he is ready to give his all in training and during the upcoming friendly fixtures with Switzerland and Tunisia in an attempt to force his way into the starting XI in Russia.

“There are two friendlies and several training sessions for me to convince the coach and make things difficult for him,” Saul told Radio Marca.

“Julen has the power to decide, but I’m going to contribute and try to help Spain get that second star on our shirts, because nothing would make me more excited than that.”