After a long two years living hell due to an Achilles tendon chronical injury, Santi Cazorla was finally able to score his first goal for Villarreal.
Reported by Manuel Medina from Moscow
Injuries can make players go through hell sometimes, but what Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla lived with both Arsenal and Villarreal was something else entirely.
The player suffered an Achilles tendon injury that didn’t look like it was too serious at first, but it only got worse through time, to the point where he started getting surgery once a month as the area of his leg got infected and the doctors even started doubting he could ever play football again.
The whole recovery process made Cazorla lose hope altogether, he even started hearing that he needed to worry more about spending time with his family and practically forget about football.
The surgeries that were made to him, went to the extreme of requiring parts from his left arm in order to use as tissue to place on his tendon. Even Cazorla jokes about being a “jigsaw puzzle” during an interview with The Guardian, but he really suffered throughout all this time.
Then after a long time of surgeries, the doctors were finally able to give him some good news and they told him that playing football again was a possibility.
Cazorla left Arsenal and signed a new contract for Villarreal, the Spanish midfielder has started in all matches with the club and this Thursday he scored his first goal after two years of going through the biggest challenge of his life.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 4, 2018
After the 3-3 Europa League draw between Villarreal and Spartak Moscow in Russia, Ronaldo.com was able to ask manager Javi Calleja about Santi’s feelings during the match and how much it meant to him scoring that equalizer from the spot near the end of the match.
“I won’t even try to hide anything about Santi Cazorla, he is an extremely talented player who hasn’t played for over two years, and you can tell. Him scoring a goal after all this time is very important and it says a lot about a player after so long, he’s been very consistent with us from the very beginning of the season.”
“I imagine this goal will give him a lot of confidence, at least that’s what he showed when he scored the penalty,” said manager Calleja during the press conference at Spartak Moscow’s stadium on Thursday.
Santi Cazorla has scored his first goal in European competition since netting for Villarreal vs. Bayer Leverkusen in March 2011.
He never scored one for Arsenal. 😯 pic.twitter.com/xokpNDW2c5
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 4, 2018
But our Ronaldo.com correspondent in Russia wanted to speak directly to the player, who fortunately stopped with all reporters to talk about his goal and never mentioned the injury.
It seems that Cazorla’s intention is to leave that whole episode behind him and all he wants is to focus in Villarreal: “It was a match that I think we should’ve won. I have tried to be as relaxed as possible when I took the shot.”
“It’s true, there were other teammates who wanted to take the penalty but I decided to take the responsibility and I was lucky enough to score the goal, which is the most important thing.”
“The squad needs to be more mature and smarter. We have rushed a little too much and we have tried to reach the opponent’s box too quickly, this has given them a chance to gain confidence and hurt us.”
“They have managed to attack with relative ease and send crosses to our box, they nearly beat us in the end but we managed to keep a point at least,” said the Spaniard to Ronaldo.com and other members of the international press after the match.
"It feels new to me, as if I were 18 again."
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) October 4, 2018
How many more goals do you want Santi Cazorla to score for Villarreal this season? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.