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Al Sadd’s new signing Santi Cazorla ideal man for Xavi brand of football

SARATH POOKKAT

Doha, Qatar: New signing Santi Cazorla is sure to make Al Sadd produce exhilarating football.

Not that they were not doing it this season, but the new Spanish signing has the exact game once practised majestically and now preached by Sadd coach and his former Spain team-mate Xavi Hernandez.

Cazorla has been linked with Sadd for the last few weeks and reigning Qatar Stars League champions confirmed the deal on Monday.

“We have reached an agreement with Santi Cazorla. He will reach Doha soon to complete the formalities and join the team. Welcome to Al-Sadd, Santi!,” Sadd said on their twitter.

Cazorla has been magnificent for Villarreal this season, reinventing himself after a terrible ankle injury almost ended his career.

He has 15 goals for Villarreal this season and one for Spain, for whom he was almost certain to feature in the Euro 2020.

Cazorla’s passing abilities, low centre of gravity, superb ball control, and deceptive acceleration make him a tricky customer to deal with but his most dangerous wean is his ability to control, dribble, and shoot with both feet. So much so that you can’t really tell whether he is left or right-footed.

He prefers to take penalties with his right foot, but he also nonchalantly blasts right-footed rockets from outside the box.

Two-time European champion Cazorla was one of the stars for Arsenal, where he won two FA Cups and as many Community shields. His beautiful game and toothy smile made him a favourite at both Arsenal and Villareal, whom he rejoined in 2018-19. And even though he is 35, Cazorla is sure to be a favourite with Al Sadd fans too.

Cazorla’s signing has another endearing outcome for Sadd fans as it also means Xavi could be staying put for at least another season.

Under Xavi, Sadd have showed glimpses of intense, breathtaking, passing game against Al Nassr at home and eventual champions Al Hilal away in the AFC Champions League and Cazorla is sure to add another dimension to their midfield.

And for the likes of Akram Afif and Baghdad Bounedjah, the very thought of linking up with Cazorla, one of the most talented players of his generation, would be mouth-watering.

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