What is Life Without Passion and Faith – and Football?

Asturian born Santiago Cazorla González, or simply Santi Cazorla is back.  He celebrated Christmas in a big way this year, on the pitch, bringing  joy to his fans.

The reason for this joy is not only in the way the central midfielder plays with such freedom.  He possesses a natural ability to kick the ball with both feet.  He has great speed of thought and movement and he has seen as many hotel rooms as hospital rooms.  After his calvary of injuries, he is out there once again playing with his smile for Villareal, the team that first launched the thirty-four year old Asturian to stardom.

Santi suffered the worst infection of his Achilles tendon the doctors had ever seen.  Many thought and pronounced he would never play again.  Before operating on him, his doctors had no idea how much of the tendon had been affected.  They simply cut and cut and cut until they found the infection.  As a result of all of this cutting, Santi lost 10 centimeters of his tendon, vital for anyone, but all the more so for footballers.  According to the doctors, his bone was like plasticine meaning it would be very difficult for him to return to football.

We all talk about passion in football.  Passion of many types.  But in this story we can see passion reflected in a healthy way.  If it were not for Santi’s passion for football, he would not be on the pitch once again bringing joy to his fans and faith to many others.

For what is life without passion and faith – and football?