Full name: Ignacio Camacho
Left Atlético in: 2010
Currently playing for: Málaga
Squad number: 6
DoB: 4 May 1990
Buyout clause: Unknown
Previous clubs: None
Ignacio Camacho is another product of Atlético’s excellent youth system. His official debut with the club came in the Copa del Rey against Granada 74, but the fans got to know Nacho a little better when Javier Aguirre handed him his La Liga debut in a memorable match against Barcelona in March 2008 – a clash which Atlético managed to win 4-2. Camacho, aged only 17, impressed many people with his calm and mature attitude on the pitch.
Just a few months later, he scored his first goals in La Liga as he netted twice against Recreativo de Huelva. Nacho became the second youngest goalscorer for Atlético in La Liga.
Making the step-up from Atlético B was a huge achievement from the Spanish youngster. “The truth is that going from Second Division B to the First Division is a big jump, but football is my life and players have to be prepared for those changes that occur.”
He is a natural leader on and off the pitch. Camacho was the captain of the Spain U17 side that won the title at 2007 European Championships and in the same year, he was declared Best Player in 2007 by the Madrid Football Federation. Nacho has represented Spain at all youth levels.
Ignacio Camacho comes from a football family: his father Juan José was a footballer with Real Zaragoza and Real Valladolid in the 1980s. His older brother Juanjo played for Second Divison B outfit SD Huesca.
“We’ve always taken football very seriously in my family, but I never felt pressured to be a footballer. On the contrary, the fact that my brother was a pro has always benefited me. He’s given me loads of advice, seeing as he’s been through most of the things that I’m experiencing now, and it’s been a huge help.”
Javier Garcia Marquez, Atlético’s youth coach on Camacho: “He’s got great vision, he keeps things simple and covers the whole middle of the park. He’s a leader on and off the pitch. Besides which, he’s a super lad and doesn’t act like a prima donna. What really singles him out is the way he works so hard to improve. He sees every training session as a challenge and tries to improve every day. He’s not one to rest on his laurels and he never stops working.”
2008/09 season didn’t really go as planned for Camacho as Javier Aguirre preferred the more experienced Maniche and Ever Banega, who had arrived on loan from Valencia. Camacho ended the season with only 8 matches under his belt.
Next season didn’t turn out to be much better for the midfielder as he missed most of the early part of the season thanks to an injury and spent the rest of the season on the bench. Atlético, however, won the UEFA Europa League trophy and reached the Copa del Rey final, where they lost to Sevilla.
In the first half of the following season Camacho didn’t feature at all in the league and in December 2010 Atleti accepted a €1.5m offer from Málaga for Nacho, knowing he only had six months remaining on his contract. The club does hold the option to buy Camacho back in case his career finally takes off.