All Santi Cazorla wants for Christmas… is to walk again.
For a professional player who spent many years at the top of his craft, this may seem a very limited ambition.
But to Cazorla, it’s everything, as he tells Marca that it would be a “miracle” if he ever walked unassisted again.
The Spaniard had an operation on his right cruciate ligament in December 2015, but he has since suffered from related ankle pain which has persisted.
The pain was there even before, but the Spaniard could deal with it.
“The first time I could endure the pain a little better,” he said to MARCA.
“If I got warm I could play, but at half-time, as soon as I cooled down a bit, I would cry.”
Things only got worse after the operation, as the Spaniard only started 7 league games in the 2016/2017 season.
Speaking about what his doctor told him: “If you get to walk again with your son in the garden, be satisfied, they told me,”
His ankle condition was so bad that the wound kept reopening, repeatedly forcing Cazorla to lie on the treatment table. He has been operated a massive eight times on his ankle.
Yet Cazorla is still waxing positive, saying that “I will return” one day.