- Premier League
Cazorla: 2012 a defining year
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has hailed the year of 2012 as the defining 12 months of his career and now he is targeting even more glory in 2013.
Cazorla has emerged as the new hero of the Emirates Stadium faithful after a sparkling opening to his career in Arsenal red and he admits his accomplishments in 2012, which included a European Championship triumph with Spain last summer, may only be put into perspective when he hangs up his boots and toasts his triumphs.
"It has been a positive year for me," Cazorla told Arsenal's official website. "It is true that there are always ups and downs, but if I look everything that I have achieved, everything that I have experienced, I am very satisfied.
"Euro 2012 was special. In football everything moves very fast, you do not have enough time to take stock of what you have achieved, but all in all, it is the highest accolade, to win something for your country, to see everyone on the streets celebrating. That was a reason to be happy, and hopefully we can repeat that success for the Spanish people many times."
Cazorla admits the decision to move to Arsenal last summer was a pivotal moment in a personal story that has seen him flirt with the big-time and never quite step onto the highest stage, but he believes he has the potential to reach the pinnacle under Arsene Wenger's guidance.
"With Arsenal, I was offered an opportunity that I could not turn down," he said. "Being 27 years old, it was like a train that I had to take and I am very satisfied. I am learning a lot, I am adapting more and more as days go by, and my aim is to learn the English game, and hopefully I will spend some good years at this club.
"It was a very important decision to change teams last summer. This is a new challenge, a completely new adventure. From the start, you have to start from zero, aside from the fact of going into a different culture, a new league, a new language.
"I have achieved great things, but I'm still growing as a football player. Next year I will aim for more of the same, to be successful with Arsenal and to continue learning and growing every day.
"I really enjoy the Premier League, the atmosphere at the stadiums, the respect of the people, their kindness, it is incredible and now we want to make progress. We have dropped some points, and we hope that from now on we can all improve. That is what we all want, to see Arsenal further up the table."