Cazorla: It hurt me not to say goodbye to Arsenal fans

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Santi Cazorla says it hurt him not being able to say a proper goodbye to Arsenal and Arsenal fans after his time at the club came to an end.

Having suffered an Achilles injury in October 2016, then endured a horrendous time with infections, multiple surgeries and bleak outlooks from doctors, the Spanish international departed in the summer of 2018.

He returned to his former club Villarreal, where he is enjoying a wonderful renaissance to his career, and is clearly enjoying his football again.

Speaking to local outlet Las Provincias, Santi reflected on his time in North London, under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger.

“You arrive at Arsenal and there is a coach who has been there for 20 years. He is the most normal person in the world.

“I spent six wonderful years with him, he trusted me from the first minute. 

“It hurts me not to be able to say goodbye to a stadium that made me fall in love.”

And on the fans who took him to their hearts during his time at the club, he had nothing but praise, telling an anecdote about a rare outing in the city after a defeat.

When I lose I do not usually leave home, not even with a 1-0, it goes against my way of being, but there was a match that was a 6-0 against Chelsea which was disastrous.

“My family came, they wanted to see London. I wasn’t up for the job, where was I going to go after the 6-0?

“But in the end we went to the center of London and all the people who stopped me were asking for photos, autographs and telling me that it is football and nothing else.”

It is a real shame we never got to say a proper goodbye to him, but it’s so nice to see him playing again after that awful injury.

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Nofuture
Nofuture

Legend!

PeteyB
PeteyB

Absolutely. Maybe he can come back for one of the legends games after he retires, or some kind of Villarreal v Arsenal testimonial.

Johnny 4 Hats
Johnny 4 Hats

God. Would everyone just leave it. Why are we all so obsessed with Ozil??

Heulwen
Heulwen

Get him back for a half time appearance over the Spanish winter break!

James
James

I was enjoying that article until I was reminded of that Chelsea score. So sad it got to the point where we were giving up those kind of scores to our rivals.

I love Santi.

BW9

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.

high gooner
high gooner

i absolutely love your way of thinking.. spot on comment for this situation

punter
punter

Legend! I would have liked to see him play in an Arsenal shirt one last time.

Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

Once he retires, I want him back at our club at any capacity. Such a unique footballer and character, I miss that happy smile of his!

adorno
adorno

“But in the end we went to the center of London and all the people who stopped me were asking for photos, autographs and telling me that it is football and nothing else.”

Sounds like a threat

Tankard Gooner
Tankard Gooner

😂 Football AND nothing else… Not football OR nothing else! 😄😄

fleurn
fleurn

löv

docciavelli
docciavelli

I had a dream the other night that Emery convinced Villareal to make a January loan of Santi for the remainder of the season. Eventually, he came on in the 65th minute of the FA Cup final against Nottingham Forest and clinched the game with a fantastic mid-field pirouette around some oaf and sprinted into the box, wrongfooted the keeper, and finished with his “off” foot (of which he has none).

Please tell me there’s a chance this could happen.

Shark
Shark

No chance. Santi is too free flowing and attack minded for Emery.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Well in.

Takeshita-san
Takeshita-san

Weren’t you the bloke who was celebrating last season by stating “My Arsenal is Back?” after seeing the high press by UE.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

No chance. Forest would never get to the FA Cup final.

Matt
Matt

😢👋

Toure Motors
Toure Motors

What a man, hard not to love his talent, his skills and his attitude to make it back to play in la Liga after diaby esque injuries. Definitely the most naturally two footed footballer I’ve ever seen.

Theo Richards
Theo Richards

❤️

Man Manny
Man Manny

Three players have brought tears to my eyes in the past decade: Rosicky, Diaby and Santi.
I wonder what could have been if these guys didn’t have such horrendous injuries, especially Diaby.
But this is about Santi; what a player, what a man!

Martin
Martin

I felt the same too. I would add Eduardo

Laca New Signing
Laca New Signing

And Jack Wilshire

KongoKim
KongoKim

and rambo gainst orc city and shawcross. hector in the 2-0 win over chelsea, close. despite these two gonna have an outstanding career.

Rich
Rich

My favourite player of the Emirates era, an absolute joy to watch

adrian
adrian

Next summer, invite Villarreal for Emirates Cup

goonshow
goonshow

fuggin’ brilliant idea – let’s get a petition going!

The Spoon
The Spoon

Biggest loss to this club since Pires. Paid his wages for 2 years through his injury then released him when he was fit, and look at him now. Absolute class.

Goatee_of_Pires
Goatee_of_Pires

Cazorla and Rosicky, my two favorite Arsenal players of the last decade. Always felt their Arsenal journeys were left incomplete by bad luck and fate. Where are the bloody tissues when you need them.

Mesut O’Neill
Mesut O’Neill

I think Santori has used them all thinking of all the clean sheets Mustafi has kept!

Pakgooner
Pakgooner

The man, the legend

Petit's Handbag
Petit's Handbag

Even the internet has nothing bad to say about Santi. In 2019, he may be alone in that group

goonshow
goonshow

To those who persist in arguing that Xhaka is an even adequate replacement, some sobering perspective –

What we HAD: https://www.planetfootball.com/videos/watch-santi-cazorla-gives-arsenal-fans-deja-vu-with-villarreal-screamer/

What we HAVE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XdAy8G8izQ

3 in his last 3; 4 in 7 so far this seaon… come back Santi, oh please come back!

Tominho
Tominho

God I miss him. One more match with Santi, Rosicky and 2015/16 version of Mesut, please.

Oregoon

Sad he is not still in red. We really miss the player and his skill set so much. A gem in the locker room, and we even played better team defense when he was out there!

Cdm995
Cdm995

I’m obviously gutted we never got the goodbye, but if that was the price for him getting to play again it’s a trade I’d take in a second. To misquote Arsene Wenger ‘if you love watching football, you love Santi Cazorla’.

Cacho
Cacho

He scored an absolute BELTER the other day. What a hit Santi!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Mn-_61gdo

Mouise
Mouise

Santi, Arsenal have avoided many bye bye to some of their great talents. Kos, Nacho… Mesut very soon.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

On the pitch or off it, class!

Daniel
Daniel

Cazorla and Rosicky. How I loved watching those two. And not just because of their technical quality. They had also something else, you could just see how much they enjoy playing the way that they did. How they weren’t just looking to score or play killer pass all the time, they could just stroll it around, almost effortlessly keeping the ball, just having fun. And then suddenly up the tempo unexpectedly. By which I dont mean they were complacent. Quite opposite, they seemed to even up their game when the going got hard. It’s those qualities which I always missed on Ozil, even though he had fantastic stats when he first joined. But he lacked this, you could call it mentality thing, I’m not sure, that those two had/have.
Also not trying to compare, but it’s the same thing that our current team lacks. Instead of upping their game when things are not going great, they ‘get scared’…

Monkey knees
Monkey knees

There is something about our club and US as fans, that wins the heart of foreign players. I love that!

Okechukwu Jude
Okechukwu Jude

One of the many successes of the Arsene Wenger era. Unfortunately, Wenger never recovered after Santi’s injury and arsenal FC is still trying to recover.

LDUNCAN
LDUNCAN

Petition to give him a testimonial?

AkshayG
AkshayG

His performance in the 2-0 win against Man City (https://www.givemesport.com/1186127-santi-cazorla-gave-a-midfield-masterclass-during-man-city-02-arsenal-in-2015) is probably the best of any arsenal player in any position in the last 5 years and that is without including his penalty and assist. Cazorla absolutely bossed the midfield in attack and defense and the man city players couldn’t even get a whiff of his scent.

Since then Arsenal hasn’t managed to win an away game against the top 6. To this day, we haven’t managed to fill Cazorla sized hole his injury left the team with.

Tapps

Close on my favourite Arsenal performance ever.

catbiscuits
catbiscuits

also a pity that we didn’t get a proper farewell for Giroud or Monreal

Dave
Dave

Love Santi, one of my favorite players of the last times, he and Rosicky were my favorites of that bunch. Solely miss someone of their caliber and quality!

For me Santi is a legend, and I’m so happy that he can still play and that he is enjoying football again

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

One of my favourite Arsenal players of all time. He and rosicky loved our club and we loved them.

DidrikP
DidrikP

Please let him know that we miss him very much!

Raza
Raza

May be one day we our club can organise a testimonial for him as he deserve it. I am so happy for him as he is doing well for his current club. Im fact, I was sad when he left.

sAMa
sAMa

There is only one Santi.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Santiago!!!!

Yhn Culture
Yhn Culture

What a great player just hope we can get any player like him one day

another kolkata gooner
another kolkata gooner

I love you.

khan
khan

Ohhhh Santi Cazorla,
Ohhhh Santi Cazorla!!!

Craig Jacobs
Craig Jacobs

You can still come back Santi spend one season with Villarreal and return, you will always be Arsenal legend

Nijjy
Nijjy

In the grand scheme of things, maybe he’s not at par with people like berkhamp or Adams, but for me, I haven’t enjoyed anyone else as him playing, he was a joy to watch

Zetty
Zetty

It is sad that Santi and Monrael both did not get a proper goodbye. Santi’s football genius. Monrael played his butt out for Arsenal.

Bob
Bob

Santi, it hurt us all to not say goodbye too. No?