Santi Cazorla turned out for Villarreal as they drew 1-1 with Hercules in a pre-season game this week.

The Spaniard, who has been out of action for 636 days, is hoping to do enough in pre-season to earn a contract with the La Liga side after being allowed to leave Arsenal for free this summer.

Cazorla came on 67 minutes into the game, receiving a standing ovation as he entered the pitch for the first time since Arsenal’s win over Ludogorets in October 2016.

Cazorla recently said that he has no intentions of fooling anyone and if he realises he can’t get back to the top level, he will call it a day.

Not many people gave Cazorla a chance of even getting this far in his recovery after almost losing his leg to infection.

This really is an amazing tale of self-belief, determination and steel from Santi.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.