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Aarón Ñíguez Esclápez (born 26 April 1989), sometimes known simply as Aarón, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a winger.

Aarón Ñíguez
Personal information
Full name Aarón Ñíguez Esclápez
Date of birth (1989-04-26) 26 April 1989 (age 30)
Place of birth Elche, Spain
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Winger
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)
2007Xerez (loan) 8 (0)
2008Iraklis (loan) 12 (3)
2008–2009Rangers (loan) 3 (0)
2009–2010Celta (loan) 11 (0)
2010–2011Recreativo (loan) 28 (5)
2011–2013 Almería 47 (4)
2013–2015 Elche 59 (1)
2015–2016 Braga 12 (0)
2016–2017 Tenerife 36 (4)
2017–2018 Oviedo 44 (5)
2018–2019 Johor Darul Ta'zim 3 (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 12:39, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

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 careerEdit

Early careerEdit

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 reserves 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 his new team in a Scottish Cup tie against Third Division side Forfar Athletic, and was booked for removing his shirt in celebration;[4] his second also came in the Cup, against Hamilton from the penalty spot, in what was his first start.[5]

On 7 June 2009, it was announced that the two-year loan would be terminated, and Ñíguez returned to Valencia late in the month.[6]

Return to SpainEdit

On 30 August 2009, still on loan from Valencia, Aarón joined RC 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.[7] For 2010–11, in the same situation, he moved to another club in that tier, Recreativo de Huelva.[8]

In July 2011, Aarón terminated his contract with Valencia and signed a five-year contract with another side in the second division, UD Almería.[9] On 7 January 2013, just hours after being released by the Andalusians, he joined another team in that level, Elche CF, penning a deal until June 2017;[10] he appeared in 16 matches for the latter, which were promoted to La Liga after a 25-year absence.[11]

Aarón made his debut in the Spanish top flight on 19 August 2013, starting and being booked in a 0–3 away loss against Rayo Vallecano.[12] 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.[13]

On 12 August 2015, Aarón severed ties with Elche.[14]


Aarón moved to a third foreign league in late August 2015, signing for S.C. Braga of the Portuguese Primeira Liga.[15] After appearing in only 14 games across all competitions, he left the club.

Tenerife / OviedoEdit

On 30 August 2016, Aarón signed a one-year contract with CD Tenerife, returning to Spain and its second division.[16] The following 3 July, he agreed to a two-year deal with fellow league team Real Oviedo.[17]

A regular starter with the latter, Aarón lost his starting spot after the arrival of Yoel Bárcenas,[18] and terminated his link on 18 November 2018.[19]

Johor Darul Ta'zimEdit

On 19 November 2018, Aarón joined Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. on a five-year contract.[20] On 21 February 2019, however, he was released and replaced by Leandro Velázquez.[21]

International careerEdit

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.[22][23]

Ñíguez made his debut for the under-21s on 18 November 2008, in a 1–4 friendly loss to Portugal.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Ñíguez came 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, Jonathan (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.[25][26][27]



  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. ^ "Rangers 5–1 Hamilton: Accies' misfortune smoothes path for Rangers". The Scotsman. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Seis meses sin Aarón" [Six months without Aarón] (in Spanish). Atlántico Diario. 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Aarón Ñíguez se marcha al Recreativo de Huelva" [Aarón Ñíguez goes on loan to Recreativo de Huelva] (in Spanish). Super Deporte. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. ^ Aarón, tercer fichaje del Almería (Aarón, third Almería signing)[permanent dead link]; UD Almería, 11 July 2011 (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Aaron Ñíguez ficha por el Elche hasta junio de 2017 (Aaron Ñíguez signs for Elche until June 2017); Marca, 7 January 2013 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ "El Elche vuelve a la elite 25 años después" [Elche return to the elite 25 years later] (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. ^ El Rayo levanta la mano (Rayo raise hand); Marca, 19 August 2013 (in Spanish)
  13. ^ El Elche escapa de las fauces del león (Elche escape from the lion's mouth); Marca, 1 November 2013 (in Spanish)
  14. ^ Aarón se desvincula del Elche C.F. (Aarón cuts ties with Elche C.F.); Elche CF, 12 August 2015 (in Spanish)
  15. ^ "Oficial: Aarón Níguez no Sp. Braga" [Official: Aarón Ñíguez to Sp. Braga] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Aarón Ñíguez, nuevo refuerzo del CD Tenerife" [Aarón Ñíguez, new addition of CD Tenerife] (in Spanish). CD Tenerife. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Aarón Ñíguez, nuevo jugador del Real Oviedo" [Aarón Ñíguez, new player of Real Oviedo] (in Spanish). Real Oviedo. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  18. ^ García, Chisco (11 October 2018). "La hora de Aarón Ñíguez" [Aarón Ñíguez's time] (in Spanish). Marca. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Rescisión de contrato de Aarón Ñíguez" [Termination of Aarón Ñíguez's contract] (in Spanish). Real Oviedo. 18 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Atletico star Saul Niguez's brother Aaron joins Johor Darul Ta'zim". Fox Sports. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Johor Darul Ta'zim release Aaron Niguez; Leandro Velazquez expected to return". Fox Sports. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  22. ^ Spain prevail in Pasching shoot-out; UEFA, 24 July 2007
  23. ^ Parejo the hero as Spain reign again; UEFA, 27 July 2007
  24. ^ Portugal plunder Iberian bragging rights; UEFA, 18 November 2008
  25. ^ "Los Ñiguez, familia de futbolistas" [The Ñiguezes, footballing family] (in Spanish). Colgados por el Fútbol. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Saúl, Aarón y Jony, los hermanos Ñíguez marcan un 'triplete' histórico" [Saúl, Aarón and Jony, the Ñíguez brothers score historic 'triple'] (in Spanish). La Información. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Los hermanos Ñíguez, unidos y luchando contra la esclerosis" [The Ñíguez brothers, united and fighting against sclerosis] (in Spanish). Diario AS. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  28. ^ "España conserva su trono europeo" [Spain renew their European supremacy] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  29. ^ ITA – ESP 1:2 (0:0) Archived 15 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Pescara 2009, 4 July 2009

External linksEdit