Santi Cazorla Named In Spain Squad After 11 Operations And 668 Days Out Injured
At one stage in his career, there was serious consideration as to whether they should amputate.
But 18 months after Santi Cazorla revealed that he almost lost his foot to gangrene after contracting a dangerous infection, the little Spaniard has been chosen in the latest Spain squad, four years after he last played for his country.
If you didn't already know, the former Arsenal midfielder had to undergo eleven operations to fix the achilles tendon injury he sustained during a 6-0 win over Ludogorets in 2016.
Cazorla: "I had several operations. I was in hospital several times for 10 days & had to have antibiotics through a drip for the bacteria." pic.twitter.com/8EwalYK4ec- afcstuff (@afcstuff) November 3, 2017
Doctors proceeded to tell the Spaniard that he was lucky to be able to walk in the garden with his son, never mind play football again.
It's been a tough journey but after a stellar season for Villarreal, where he made 45 appearances and scored seven, the midfielder has been included in the latest Spain 23-man squad.
A truly remarkable achievement considering his injury past.
:warning: OFICIAL ' ¡Ya tenemos la lista! Estos son los 23 convocados para los próximos partidos:- Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) May 17, 2019
:date: 07/06 Islas Feroe :vs: ESPAÑA
:date: 10/06 ESPAÑA :vs: Suecia. ¡A por la #EURO2020!#UnidosPorUnRETO pic.twitter.com/9IaSm6V31Y
Eleven operations meant that the 34-year-old lost eight centimetres from the tendon in his right ankle.
Cazorla needed a skin graft from his arm to help fix his left foot, which means part of his daughter's name is now tattooed on his achilles.
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There might have been complications, but his former club Arsenal stuck him through thick and thin.
He revealed how grateful he was to club back in 2017 when his contract was renewed:
"They (Arsenal) were very good to me, they renewed me before my operation, the manager talked to me and gave me peace of mind. It's been a difficult season, since I have not played since November." he said in an interview with Cadena Ser.
"I've been through surgery eight times. 'I had the last one yesterday, and hopefully everything will go well.
"Since November I have had complications. There was bacteria in the operating room and I suffered an infection in a bone. The scar did not close and I had a skin graft."
Santi Cazorla: Only Pablo Sarabia (13) has registered more assists than @19SCazorla (10) of Spanish players in La Liga this season- WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 17, 2019
For more player stats -- https://t.co/CzcIwkJses pic.twitter.com/hSJKLApeqz
It's great to see him back to his best. Well done, Santi.
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