Santi Cazorla’s remarkable resurgence from a career-threatening injury continues after he was named in the Spain squad for the first time since 2015 for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Faroe Islands and Sweden.
The final three years of Cazorla’s Arsenal spell were wrecked by serious physical problems, starting with knee ligament damage in November 2015, before issues with his Achilles tendon arose.
Initially the midfielder suffered from two bouts of Achilles tendonitis, but his skin in the surrounding area began to deteriorate and infection set in, resulting in the loss of 10 centimetres of the tendon.
Even after having reconstructive surgery and a skin graft, Cazorla was warned he may never be able to walk properly again, let alone play football.
But after leaving Arsenal last year to return to Villarreal, where he established himself at the highest level, the 34-year-old has reinvigorated his career, missing just three of their 37 LaLiga games in 2018-19 as the club narrowly avoided relegation.
In an otherwise bleak season for the Yellow Submarine, Cazorla has been a bright spot, his performance in the 4-4 draw against Barcelona in April earning him major acclaim and proving he is still among Spain’s best midfield options.
Luis Enrique is seemingly of the same opinion, giving Cazorla the chance of a first international appearance since November 2015, when he scored against England.
Dani Carvajal is back in the squad for the first time since September, while Fabian Ruiz of Napoli could also earn his first cap.
Mikel Oyarzabal – the scorer of 13 LaLiga goals this term for Real Sociedad – could get his first cap since 2016.
Spain will play away to the Faroe Islands on June 7, three days before hosting Sweden.