From the age of 12, Santi Cazorla played for Real Oviedo.

The Spanish club, who play in Liga Adelante (the division below La Liga), have produced some wonderful players but had to be saved from the brink of extinction just a few years ago. Tonight the stadium, Carlos Tartiere, hosts Spain’s crucial qualifying game against Slovakia.

Cazorla spoke to Radio Marca ahead of the game, along with Juan Mata who also came through the Real Oviedo academy, and cannot wait to play where it all began for him.

“These are very beautiful moments with our people, where we spent childhood and we hope the fans enjoy every moment,” said Cazorla.

The fans seem to be enjoying it, and even treated him to his Arsenal chant at an open training session during the week.

Returning to his hometown, Cazorla could even make the starting eleven at the expense of former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Now wouldn’t that be something? Hopefully Santi gets to start and has a great game in the crucial qualifier. Slovakia have won all six games so far and lead Spain in the table.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil