WATCH: Former Arsenal player unveiled in surreal magic trick at new club
Santi Cazorla was one of the most liked players at Arsenal during his time at the Emirates and won three FA Cups with the side in 6 years with the club. However, a string of injuries to the knee, Achilles and the ankle restricted him from regularly enthralling the fans with his mesmerizing talent.
The latest one, to the ankle, forcing him to miss the entire 2017/18 campaign. Cazorla was said to be making steady progress in his rehabilitation and was even rumoured to be back in contention for a final couple of games last season. That never materialized, and neither did an extension at the club for the 33-year-old.
He has been a tremendous asset for the club, with close control skills second to none. Cazorla attained cult status with the Gunners after masterminding a comeback in the FA Cup final against Hull City through a stunning free-kick, handing Arsenal their first piece of silverware in almost a decade.
After his career was stunted by repetitive injuries at the club, Cazorla told the management that he wanted a move back to Spain with his childhood club Villarreal FC and his wish was granted.
Santi was finally unveiled, back at his former club, in front of thousands of adoring fans at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Although, what caught the eye was not the player who was unveiled, but the manner of it.
In one of the most bizarre approaches to an event - which usually involves the player walking out onto the pitch wearing his new team's full kit, waving at the crowd a bit, doing a few keepie-uppies and posing for photographs - Villareal took things to a whole new level.
A 4m² stage was erected on the pitch, with a large empty glass cylinder placed on top of it. With Cazorla nowhere in sight, a magician set about dancing around the cylinder which began to fill with white smoke. Dramatic music played, and as the smoke began to subside, Cazorla appeared, standing rigidly inside the cylinder, as if cryogenically frozen for the last couple of centuries.
Take a look at the video for yourself, while you inch yourself in utter disbelief. They really ought to just have had Cazorla do all the magic - with his feet.
What do you make of Santi's unveiling? Let us know in the comments section below.