Santi Cazorla's fandom for Spanish club Villarreal appears to be stronger than ever after he openly admitted that he is hoping his former side can knock Liverpool out of the Europa League.
Villarreal host Liverpool in the first of two legs this Thursday with the winner progressing to May's final. Jurgen Klopp's men are favourites to go through but the Yellow Submarine will be hoping to spring a surprise at El Madrigal.
And Cazorla is just one Spaniard who is hoping they can do just that. In fact, the Arsenal star will ask Arsene Wenger's permission to attend the second leg on Merseyside so he can help push his favourite Spanish team towards the final.
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"It's a very even tie but I believe if Villarreal play as they can, they have a great chance to go through," Cazorla told AS. "Any team can suffer at Anfield, and they will suffer for sure. But the key to the tie will be [the first leg] at El Madrigal.
"If I get permission from my club I will be attending the second leg at Anfield, as another 'groguet' ['yellow'] supporter."
And Cazorla has even given Marcelino Garcia Toral's side some much-needed advice before the big game, telling them that the key to stopping Liverpool will be getting in behind their high-pressing attackers while they must also try to keep Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho quiet.
He described the diminutive playmaker as Liverpool's "best player", saying: "He makes the difference for them. A lot of their play goes through him."
Cazorla added: "[Liverpool] have a clear philosophy, they are an intense team up front, they press very high up, but if Villarreal get past this pressure and can move the ball around, they will have made a lot of progress."
Return to Villarreal
The 31-year-old has had to sit by while Arsenal's season unravelled without him. He has not featured for the Gunners since November after suffering knee ligament damage in a 1-1 draw with Norwich and may not feature until the next campaign.
However, it has been suggested that Cazorla, who has been one of Arsenal's most consistent performers since arriving from Malaga in 2012, may leave the Emirates, especially if the chance to rejoin Villarreal is forthcoming.
He was a youngster with Villarreal between 2003-2006, making over 50 appearances for the senior side before moving on, but appears to think he has unfinished business with the La Liga outfit.
"I would not rule out returning to Villarreal [at some point]," he finished. "Everyone knows how special that club is for me."
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