Spain and Arsenal hero Santi Cazorla joins Xavi in Qatar at Al Saad

Doha: Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla said “Xavi was very important in my decision to come to Qatar” as he signed for the country’s highest-profile team Al Sadd, where his fellow Spaniard is head coach.

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“He was my reference when he was a player, and I’m sure he’ll be the same as a coach,” he said in a statement as he signed his new two-year contract late Thursday.

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The midfielder bid farewell to Villarreal ahead of the team’s final game of La Liga against Eibar last month.

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The 35-year-old enjoyed a brilliant third spell at Villarreal after two years of serious injuries.

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Cazorla previously made 180 appearances over six years for Arsenal and has 81 caps for Spain. He also played for Malaga and Recreativo Huelva after first joining Villarreal as a teenager.

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“We have to try to win everything, all the titles,” he said in the statement.

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“Al-Sadd is the biggest club in Qatar and it’s a great honour to be here and to be part of this club.”

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