I often wonder what it feels like to be a Spaniard in the footballing world.
Year-after-year, their country are producing so many world class talents from illustrious academies and winning trophy-after-trophy all the while gaining plaudits from around the globe.
There seems to be a new breed of Spanish footballer taking European football, with the Premier League in particular, by storm. Here we take an in depth look at how three miniature matadors rose to prominence to spearhead the attacks of three English footballing giants.
The now household names of, David Silva, Juan Mata and most recently Santi Cazorla have rightfully secured their positions in three of the top four clubs in English football's top tier. These three MMM's (Micro Midfield Magicians) as I like to call them, have benefited from the tutoring and direction from some of Spain's most productive academies and most famous clubs.
Both Mata and Cazorla started their careers at Real Oviedo of the Principality of Asturias. The Chelsea number 10 went on to join Real Madrid's youth academy known as La Fabrica with Cazorla joining Villarreal six months before his eighteenth birthday.
David Silva, on the other hand, was coming through the ranks of Valencia CF's youth system, eventually completing two loan spells in the Spanish second division with SD Eibar and Celta Vigo respectively, before returning to play for Los Che.
With a more regular, higher standard of football attained, all three players made significant steps up the footballing ladder. With Mata being promoted in 2006 to Real Madrid Castilla, or reserve team to you and me, he finished second top scorer behind Manchester City new boy Alvaro Negredo. While in the same year the then twenty year old David Silva returned to Valencia and found regular first team football in the first XI.
That same year Cazorla joined Recreativo de Huelva with a clause in his contract to re join Villarreal if they should try to buy him back which they eventually did the year after. Mata eventually joined Valencia after failing to break into the Real Madrid first-team, while Cazorla joined Malaga CF for the large sum of €21m euros.
In 2010 the first of the three made the move north across the water to England with David Silva joining the already growing number of superstars at newly rich Manchester City.
A year later, August 11 2011, Juan Mata signed for Chelsea and quickly won the Fans Player of the year award, finishing his debut Premier League season with the second highest amount of assists with thirteen, only bettered by guess who, David Silva. Another year gone and another gift of a player is welcomed to the English game. Santi Cazorla signed for Arsenal and is currently one of three Spaniard's to ever score a Premier League hat-trick.
It's true we never got to see the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi or even Luis Enrique plying their trade in the best league in the world, but there is no doubt the current Spanish internationals of our beloved Premier League will pave the way for more to come.
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