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Santi Cazorla


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Santiago "Santi" Cazorla González (born 13 December 1984 in Lugo de Llanera, Llanera, Asturias), is a Spanish football attacking midfielder for Villarreal CF. He also played for Real Oviedo and Recreativo Huelva.

At Villarreal CF since the age of 18, the left-footed debuted with the first team on November 30, 2003, playing one minute in a 1-0 win at Deportivo La Coruña. Established in the main squad in 2004-05, Cazorla scored 4 goals in the UEFA Cup 2004-05, and made 2 goalless appearances in the following season's Champions League.

On 7 July 2006, Recreativo Huelva signed Cazorla for €600.000, on a four-year contract, with a clause in his contract whereby he could return to Villarreal (for €1.2 million). He became Spanish Player of The Year according to Don Balon Magazine after topping its rating list. The following year Villarreal exercised that option, as Cazorla had proven himself (34 matches with 5 goals) during the 2006-07 season.

In 2007-08, Cazorla was instrumental in Villarreal's final runner-up final placing, providing assists for Nihat Kahveci and Giuseppe Rossi and netting five goals himself.

On May 17, 2008, Luis Aragonés surprised the Spanish press by picking the uncapped Cazorla for the 23-man squad that would go to Euro 2008. He had previously represented the U-21 side. He was a second half substitute in the quarter final against Italy in Vienna he also came on in the final as a sub.

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