It's still sinking in - Cazorla revels in remarkable Spain recall
Santi Cazorla has acknowledged he found it hard to imagine ever playing for Spain again after injuries threatened to cut short his career.
Cazorla was a surprise inclusion in Spain's squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Sweden, with the former Arsenal playmaker returning to the national team for the first time since 2015.
The final years of Cazorla's time at Arsenal were blighted by injuries, but the 34-year-old has enjoyed a resurgence for Villarreal this season, scoring seven goals in 45 appearances across all competitions.
His form at club level has led to an international recall, something the midfielder admitted was beyond his "wildest dreams".
10 - The player to have provided most assists in #LaLiga for Villarreal ever (38), Santiago Cazorla, has provided 10 assists in @LaLiga this season, more than any other season alongside 2010/2011. Return #Rojapic.twitter.com/YGTl7k5r8e— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 17, 2019
"You always dream that one day you might return to the national team but after two years of injuries, it was something that for me, what very difficult to imagine ever happening again," Cazorla told Spanish publication AS.
"I'm really happy about it, it's still sinking in to be honest and I've been reading all of the nice messages people have been sending me.
"In my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined this. I'd like to thank all the people who were always there during the difficult moments.
"I'm going to enjoy it, I plan to give my best as I always have done with the national team. This had already been a really nice season but I didn't expect it to end this way.
"If someone had told me this was going to happen, I wouldn't have believed them. I was out injured for two years and after something like that it is very hard to return to the top level.
"I'm at a certain age and I knew that it would be complicated for me to return to the national team."
Cazorla scored on his last appearance for Spain, a 2-0 win over England in November 2015.