Aarón Ñíguez

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Aarón Ñíguez 2009.jpg
Ñíguez in action for Valencia in 2009
Personal information
Full name Aarón Ñíguez Esclápez
Date of birth (1989-04-26) 26 April 1989 (age 26)
Place of birth Elche, Spain
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Youth career
Caja de Elche
2000–2006 Valencia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Valencia B 29 (4)
2007–2011 Valencia 0 (0)
2007 Xerez (loan) 8 (0)
2008 Iraklis (loan) 12 (3)
2008–2009 Rangers (loan) 3 (0)
2009–2010 Celta (loan) 11 (0)
2010–2011 Recreativo (loan) 28 (5)
2011–2013 Almería 47 (4)
2013–2015 Elche 59 (1)
2015– Braga 0 (0)
National team
2004–2005 Spain U16 4 (3)
2005–2006 Spain U17 10 (6)
2006–2008 Spain U19 23 (8)
2009 Spain U20 11 (7)
2008–2009 Spain U21 4 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 May 2015.

† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Ñíguez and the second or maternal family name is Esclápez.

Aarón Ñíguez Esclápez (born 26 April 1989), sometimes known simply as Aarón, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Portuguese club S.C. Braga as a winger.

A Valencia youth graduate, he was capped by Spain at various youth levels, and competed mainly in Segunda División during his career, also having brief loan spells in Greece and Scotland.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Elche, Alicante, Valencian Community, Ñíguez was a product of Valencia CF's youth system. He made his first-team debut on 5 December 2006 against A.S. Roma in the season's UEFA Champions League, starting and playing 27 minutes in the 0–1 away defeat,[1] and spent his first professional year with the B-club in the third division, appearing regularly but suffering relegation.

After starting the 2007–08 campaign on loan with second level side Xerez CD, Aarón switched in the January transfer window to Iraklis Thessaloniki F.C. in Greece. He scored his first goal for the team on 16 March 2008, netting through a penalty kick in a 1–0 win against Panionios F.C. after his acrobatic bicycle kick was blocked by an opponent's hand.


On 13 August 2008 Aarón joined Scottish Premier League club Rangers on a two-year loan deal, with an option to buy.[2] He made his official debut in the 7–1 defeat of Hamilton Academical on 6 December, coming on as a second-half substitute and immediately creating a goal for compatriot Nacho Novo.[3] He scored his first competitive goal for Rangers in a Scottish Cup tie against Third Division side Forfar Athletic, and was booked for removing his shirt in celebration;[4] his second goal also came in the Cup, against Hamilton from the penalty spot, in what was his first start for the club.

On 7 June 2009 it was announced that the two-year loan would be terminated, and Ñíguez returned to Valencia late in the month.[5]

Return to Spain[edit]

On 30 August 2009, still on loan from Valencia, Aarón joined Celta de Vigo in division two, appearing in less than one-third of the matches during the season due to a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury.[6] For 2010–11, in the same predicament, he moved to another club in that level, Recreativo de Huelva.

In July 2011 Aarón terminated his contract with Valencia, and signed a five-year contract with another side in the second division, UD Almería.[7] On 7 January 2013, just hours after being released by the Andalusians, he joined another club in the category, Elche CF, penning a deal until June 2017.[8] He appeared in 16 matches for the latter, which were promoted to La Liga after a 25-year absence.

On 19 August 2013 Aarón made his debut in the Spanish top level, starting and being booked in a 0–3 away loss against Rayo Vallecano.[9] On 31 October he scored his first goal in the competition, netting his side's last in a 2–2 away draw against Athletic Bilbao.[10]

On 12 August 2015 Aarón rescinded his contract with the Franjiverdes.[11]

International career[edit]

Aarón played in the 2006 UEFA European Championship for the Spanish under-17 team, finishing as the fourth top scorer in the tournament with three goals. He was also a key member of the under-19 side that won the following year's European Championship, beating Greece in the final.[12][13]

Ñíguez made his debut for the under-21s on 18 November 2008, in a 1–4 friendly loss to Portugal.[14]



Spain U19
Spain U20

Personal life[edit]

Ñíguez comes from a football family: his father, José Antonio, played several years with Elche – including the 1984–85 season in La Liga – as a striker.

His older brother, Jony (another midfielder), was also brought up at Valencia, spending almost his entire senior career in the lower leagues. The youngest, Saúl, was brought up at Atlético Madrid.[16]


  1. ^ Roma 1–0 Valencia: Panucci sends Roma through; ESPN Soccernet, 5 December 2006
  2. ^ Rangers complete Níguez transfer; BBC Sport, 13 August 2008
  3. ^ Rangers 7–1 Hamilton Accies; BBC Sport, 6 December 2008
  4. ^ Forfar 0–4 Rangers; BBC Sport, 18 February 2009
  5. ^ "Debt problems result in Valencia recalling Rangers loan star Aaron Niguez". Daily Record. 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Seis meses sin Aarón" [Six months without Aarón] (in Spanish). Diario Atlántico. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Aarón, tercer fichaje del Almería (Aarón, third Almería signing); Almería's official website, 11 July 2011 (Spanish)
  8. ^ Aaron Ñíguez ficha por el Elche hasta junio de 2017 (Aaron Ñíguez signs for Elche until June 2017); Marca, 7 January 2013 (Spanish)
  9. ^ El Rayo levanta la mano (Rayo raises hand); Marca, 19 August 2013 (Spanish)
  10. ^ El Elche escapa de las fauces del león (Elche escapes from the lion's mouth); Marca, 1 November 2013 (Spanish)
  11. ^ Aarón se desvincula del Elche C.F. (Aarón leaves Elche C.F.); Elche's official website, 12 August 2015 (Spanish)
  12. ^ Spain prevail in Pasching shoot-out; UEFA.com, 24 July 2007
  13. ^ Parejo the hero as Spain reign again; UEFA.com, 27 July 2007
  14. ^ Portugal plunder Iberian bragging rights; UEFA.com, 18 November 2008
  15. ^ ITA – ESP 1:2 (0:0); Pescara 2009, 4 July 2009
  16. ^ "Los Ñiguez, familia de futbolistas" [The Ñiguezes, footballing family] (in Spanish). Colgados por el Fútbol. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 

External links[edit]