Villarreal confirm Cazorla departure as Soriano prepares for final match

Villarreal have confirmed Santi Cazorla will leave the LaLiga club and Bruno Soriano is to retire after Sunday’s clash with Elbar.

Cazorla has made a big impact in his third spell with the Yellow Submarine since returning in 2018 after a serious Achilles injury.

The 35-year-old playmaker, who did not play for 636 days prior to his comeback two years ago, has scored 11 goals and provided nine assists in the Spanish top flight this season.

Cazorla will play his last game for the club this weekend, though, and has been linked with a move to Qatari club Al Sadd – coached by former Barcelona captain Xavi.

It has also been reported that Cazorla could take up a coaching role with Arsenal, but a switch to Qatar looks more likely for a player who earned a Spain recall last year.

Cazorla told Villarreal TV ahead of his final appearance: “Villarreal have given me everything. When I was 18, they gave me all the confidence.

“A guy from Oviedo who was unknown almost for everyone.”

The former Spain international joined Villarreal as a teenager from Real Oviedo, and returned to the Castellon side in 2007 following a short spell with Recreativo. 

His sterling performances made him a regular in the Rojo line-up, with Cazorla forming part of the squads which lifted the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, and also caught the eye of other clubs, with a move to Malaga leading to Arsenal swooping for the midfielder in the summer of 2012. 

He enjoyed five seasons in north London before injury intervened, but managed to rebuild his career back at the Yellow Submarine and was almost ever-present for the club in their last two Liga campaigns.

Long-serving skipper Bruno Soriano will also  make an emotional swansong on the final day of the season at El Madrigal.

The 36-year-old, a one-club man, has made over 300 appearances for Villarreal since making his debut 14 years ago.

“What I am going to be, for now, it is being the fan number one of Villarreal. Villarreal will be part of my life forever.” he said.

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