One of Santi Cazorla’s many strengths is his versatility in attacking areas, thanks in large part to his ability with both feet, speed off the mark, clean shooting and lethal changes of pace. Throw in his endearing nature, hard work and selflessness out on the pitch and you have a player who has been a fan favourite throughout his career.
The Asturian-born schemer kicked off his story with La Roja by breaking directly into the squad for UEFA EURO 2008, before going on to appear in every game of that title-winning campaign. A virtual fixture ever since, also featuring at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and in victory at EURO 2012, injury denied Cazorla the opportunity to take part in La Selección’s triumph at 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
A product of the youth system at Oviedo, Cazorla was subsequently snapped up by Villarreal, though his big break undoubtedly came in a sparkling one-season spell at Recreativo de Huelva, where he was voted La Liga's Spanish Player of the Year for 2006/07. Returning to El Submarino Amarillo, the attacking midfielder’s promptings were a vital ingredient in their runners-up finish in the 2007/08 championship race.
Come 2011, Cazorla made a big-money switch to Malaga, where he swiftly became a crucial figure in a side that achieved UEFA Champions League qualification for the very first time. Following Spain’s EURO 2012 victory, the player signed on the dotted line for English outfit Arsenal. Adapting seamlessly to life in the Premier League, he has struck no fewer than 12 goals in his first campaign with the Gunners.