'All the suffering has been worth it' says Santi Cazorla after Villarreal unveiling

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Cazorla has returned to Villarreal for a third spell.

Santi Cazorla was left feeling hugely relieved after being unveiled as a Villarreal player on Thursday for his third spell at the club.

The Spanish midfielder left Arsenal this summer after joining the Gunners in 2012 but experienced horrific luck with injuries.

Since then, Cazorla’s career has been blighted by spells on the sidelines, and he has required surgery eight times to get to this point, with an infection after one of these operations, in 2017, nearly leading to his foot being amputated.

“All the suffering has been worth it for this moment alone,” Cazorla said after signing with the club where he started his career, making 228 appearances for the Yellow Submarine during two separate spells, from 2003 to 2006 and 2007 to 2011.

He returned to Villarreal this summer on trial, and proved his fitness in order to earn a one-year contract.

“Now it’s time to work hard and I’m looking forward to this new challenge at Villarreal. My idea is to give everything and to be at the top level.

“I have to enjoy the moment, but I’m demanding and I want to keep improving. I won’t conform, that’s not me. I still have some pains and I want to get rid of them and be 100 percent. I think I can improve my level in the future.”

Photo taken from Villarreal’s official website.

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Lionel Messi named Barcelona captain for new season

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Lionel Messi has been named Barcelona captain following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

The La Liga champions have named four skippers for the new campaign, along with Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.

Messi was named club vice-captain in 2015 and, having also captained Argentina since 2010, was the obvious choice to take over from Iniesta.

All four players came through La Masia which means the team will be captained by a player who came through the ranks in each fixture.

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Barcelona in race against the clock to convert Philippe Coutinho's passport

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Philippe Coutinho could be on the sidelines for Barcelona‘s Spanish Super Cup match against Sevilla on Sunday, unless the club can fix their non-EU player quota, according to Marca.

La Liga and the Super Cup only allow three non-EU players to be included in any matchday squad and Coutinho is registered with a Brazilian passport.

New signings Arturo Vidal of Chile and Brazilian pair Malcom and Arthur Melo all need to be on the non-EU visas, so the 25-year-old is set to switch to Portuguese registration.

Coutinho’s wife is Portuguese and the player is able to register as a Portuguese citizen after three years of marriage.

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