Cazorla: Replacing Xavi impossible

The Arsenal star says being compared to the Barcelona star is a huge compliment but feels that the 33-year-old is a one-off as a player
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla says that it will be impossible to replace Xavi in the Spain set-up.

The 33-year-old has been a permanent fixture in the Roja squad since making his debut in 2000, featuring in six major tournaments.

Cazorla, meanwhile, has been a revelation for the Gunners since moving to the Emirates from Malaga in the summer of 2012, but feels that he cannot replace the Barcelona star.

"Replacing Xavi is not difficult, it’s impossible, because he is a one-off.  Just to be compared with him is a compliment but Xavi is unique and there will be no substitute," he told El Pais.

"What I think is the future of Spain is assured because there are very young people, like [Juan] Mata, [Sergio] Busquets and others that are coming through like Alberto Moreno, [Marc] Bartra, Isco, at an extraordinary level.

"The important thing is knowing that he has taken up to three titles and knowing that it’s not easy. We have gone from the stage of seeing elimination in the quarter-finals as normal, and now the problem is that it seems that it’s a given that we will play in another World Cup final. What this ground has done is impressive.

"The English are obsessed with Barcelona and Real Madrid, but they ask me a lot about Iniesta and Ramos, about the players in the national team, and something I think that not just the fans, also the players, at least in the Arsenal dressing room, admire the national team to the point that for a lot of people our play is the reference point."

Arsenal have enjoyed an excellent start to the season and currently top the Premier League table and Cazorla feels that England's top flight is far more open than La Liga.

"Yes, because it’s more open. The Spanish league is bipolar, England is more fun. That does not mean that the league is nicer to play in, it’s not that it’s better or worse, it’s something different.

"It’s going well for me at the moment, I’m learning new things and that makes you grow."