Former Arsenal player Santi Cazorla has claimed he is thrilled to be back on the field – after feeling his career could have been over.
It’s been an injury nightmare for the popular player – who said medics told him he would be lucky to even play football with his son at one point, and after Arsenal released him, starting again with Villarreal means the world to him.
Cazorla also paid tribute to the fans who supported him – and said staying fit is his primary concern.
Standard Sport report he said: “To feel like a footballer again is something very special.
“The warmth of everyone during this period is something that will stay with me forever.
“The fans have given me strength and been there through all the bad times.
“Sometimes I can ask too much of myself and I don’t enjoy things.
“I’ve returned to training with my team mates and played a game at a good level. For me this was unthinkable 20 months ago.
“I’m just focused on getting 100 percent fit and doing what I love to do: playing football.”
Cazorla is back with his beloved Villarreal, and wants to make sure he does the most he can for them during the time he plays for them – with the club currently keeping him on trial at the minute.
The friendly against Hercules was the first game he’d played in 636 days – and it’s a remarkable comeback given he worried at one point he wouldn’t even be able to walk again.