What happened to Santi Cazorla? Where is he playing now?

What happened to Santi Cazorla? Where is he playing now?

Kenneth Mwenda
November 23, 2022 at 12:09 PM

Santi Cazorla is the magical playmaker who was on Arsenal's books from 2012 to 2018. He had an incredible career in his early days in Spain and North London but suffered an injury that many feared would prevent him from walking, leave alone playing, ever again.

What happened to Santi Cazorla? Where is he playing now?
Santi Cazorla of Al Sadd reacts during the QNB Stars League match between Al-Markhiya SC and Al Sadd SC at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on 1 August, 2022. Photo: Simon Holmes
Source: Getty Images

Santi Cazorla is a professional footballer from Spain. The former Spanish international athlete was primarily an attacking midfielder but also played as a winger, central midfielder, and deep-lying playmaker.

Profile summary

Full Name

Santiago Cazorla Gonzalez

Celebrated name

Santi Cazorla

Nickname (s)

The Magician, Little Magician

Birth Date

13 December 1984

Birth Place

Llanera, Asturias, Spain


37 years (2022)








Jose Manuel Cazorla


Loli Cazorla

Zodiac Sign



1.65 m


67 kg



Eye Colour

Dark Brown

Hair Colour

Dark Brown


Professional football player

Playing Position


Current Club Team

Al Sadd

Social media


What age is Santi Cazorla?

Cazorla (aged 37 in 2022) was born on 13 December 1984, in Llanera, Asturias, Spain. He joined Villareal six months before his 18th birthday in 2002.

Santi Cazorla's height

The former Arsenal midfielder has a height of 1.65 metres. He weighs approximately 67 kg, which is close to the average for football players.

Santi Cazorla's age
Santi Cazorla of Villarreal CF looks on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Villarreal CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on July 16, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Diego Souto
Source: Getty Images

Since Santi's first departure from Villareal in 2006, the former Spanish international returned there several times. His first return to his boyhood club was between 2007 and 2011, and again between 2018 and 2020.

Cazorla's career reached its peak when he signed for Arsenal in August 2012. He was Arsène Wenger's third major signing of the summer. The Spanish was named man of the match in his debut for the club against Sunderland.

The 'Little Magician'

Santi Cazorla's height
Santi Cazorla of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal at Parc des Princes on September 13, 2016 in Paris. Photo: Stuart MacFarlane
Source: Getty Images

He scored his first goal for Arsenal in a 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, and later his first hat-trick for the club against Reading, earning him another man of the match award.

The midfielder assisted all four Arsenal goals in a crucial 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic on May 14, 2013, which relegated their opponents and kept the Gunners in fourth place. He finished his first season in England as the only Arsenal player to appear in all 38 league games, and he was named Arsenal's Player of the Season for 2012-13 on May 31, 2013. In 49 appearances, he finished his first season at Arsenal with 12 goals and 14 assists.

What happened to Santi Cazorla?

He was a fan favourite among Arsenal fans between 2012 and 2018, and his role as a miniature creator earned him the nickname 'Little Magician.' However, he left North London after suffering an injury that appeared to be a minor setback but quickly escalated into a career-threatening situation. Cazorla spent six years at Arsenal, making 129 league appearances.

Second return ( 2018–2020 )

Santi Cazorla's injury
Santi Cazorla of Villarreal looks on during the Liga match between Villarreal CF and SD Eibar SAD at Estadio de la Ceramica on July 19, 2020 in Villareal, Spain. Photo: Pablo Morano
Source: Getty Images

After leaving Arsenal, the former Spanish international briefly trained with Alavés' youth team. He then returned to his former club Villarreal to train with them for the remainder of the pre-season and prove his fitness. However, his return to Villarreal was tinged with sadness because he could not bid farewell to Arsenal.

Santi made his first appearance in 636 days in a friendly against Hércules. He came on as a substitute in the 57th minute to a standing ovation. The club officially announced his signing on August 9, 2018.

On September 27, 2019, Cazorla scored his team's second goal in a 5-1 thrashing of Real Betis. With this goal, he surpassed Juan Román Riquelme as the highest-scoring midfielder in Villarreal history, with 46 goals. He finished the season with ten assists, which was third in the league.

He made his final appearance for Villarreal on July 19, 2020, in a 4-0 league win over Eibar. As he exited the field, teammates and opponents formed a guard of honour for him. Cazorla joined Qatar's Al Sadd on July 20, 2020 and has remained with the team ever since.

Santi Cazorla's international career stats

Santiago Cazorla's stats
Santiago Cazorla of Spain celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Spain and Malta on November 15, 2019 in Cadiz, Spain. Photo: TF-Images
Source: Getty Images

Cazorla started his international career in Spain's under-21 team under Iñaki Sáez. Despite his club success, Cazorla struggled to get regular starts for Spain during Vicente del Bosque's illustrious and highly successful reign.

In 2008, he was selected for the UEFA Euro 2008 squad. Unfortunately, he missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to a hernia, but he was named to Spain's 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was also named to the competition's final list.

In June, he made his first appearance for Spain since November 2015; a 1302-day absence caused primarily by injuries. He made his debut in a 4-1 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying win over the Faroe Islands. It was also a watershed moment for Cazorla, who took over as national team captain for the first time in the second half after regular captain Sergio Ramos was replaced.

Has Santi Cazorla retired?

Reports reveal in 2022, he has yet to announce his retirement and has stated he wishes to play more. He has ambitions of returning to Arsenal as a technical assistant once he retires.

Santi Cazorla's net worth
Mohamed Elneny (L) and Santi Cazorla (R) after the FA Community Shield match at Wembley Stadium on August 6, 2017 in London, England. Photo: Stuart MacFarlane
Source: Getty Images

How much does Santi Cazorla earn?

Santiago is a professional footballer who makes a living from his footballing profession. With a salary of $1.6 million, his net worth is estimated to be $20 million as of November 2022. In November 2012, he purchased shares in his former club Oviedo with fellow Premier League stars Michu and Juan Mata. This was brought about by the club's inability to raise $2 million in order to stay afloat in Spain's third division.

Santi Cazorla's family

Jose Manuel Cazorla is his father, and Loli is his mother. Cazorla has a brother named Nando, who is also a professional football player.

Santi Cazorla's wife
Santi Cazorla and wife Ursula Santirso attend the wedding of Sergio Ramos and Tv presenter Pilar Rubio at Seville's Cathedral on June 15, 2019 in Seville, Spain. Photo: Aitor Alcalde
Source: Getty Images

Who is the wife of Santi Cazorla?

Santi and his wife, Ursula Santirso have two children: a son named Enzo and a daughter named India. Cazorla had their names tattooed on his forearms, which he would kiss after scoring goals, but the design on his left arm was destroyed in 2017 when the skin was needed for graft over his infected right heel.

Santi Cazorla is an attacking midfielder who can also play as a winger on either side of the field, a central midfielder, or a deep-lying playmaker. His prime characteristics are speed, creativity, shooting accuracy - particularly from outside the box - and the ability to change the rhythm of play in midfield.

READ ALSO: Aaron Lennon: bio, wife, stats, net worth, is he retiring from professional football? has earlier reported about Aaron Lennon's bio, wife, stats, and net worth. Former English football player Aaron Justin Lennon specialized as a winger.

Lennon started his professional career at his local Club, Leeds United, where he made his first-team debut in 2003 and became the league's youngest player. He played for Tottenham for ten years before having appearances at Everton, Burnley, and Turkish club Kayserispor.

Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.