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Santi - My key advice to younger players

Since joining the club from Malaga in 2012, Santi Cazorla has become a mainstay of the Arsenal team.

But perhaps more importantly, the Spanish playmaker has made his mark in the dressing room with his bubbly character and years of experience - and now he's looking to pass on some key lessons to the next generation.

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'Cazorla is always happy'

 "Ten years ago I was a young lad like Hector Bellerin and now I’m a veteran," Cazorla told Arsenal Player. "As a senior player you always try to set an example to the younger ones to help develop the next generation of footballers and that’s what I try to do in the dressing room.

"When they start out in football, things often take them by surprise - especially when they’re riding high. They may be in a new team and everything is going brilliantly and it all seems like it’s a beautiful dream.

"But things can change, and then suddenly they have to cope with criticism and people not being happy with their performance. The young players often aren’t used to this and don’t know how to deal with what is said in the papers or on social media. Younger players are more affected by the criticism.

"They have to learn to be stronger and rise above it because criticism is part and parcel of football and that’s an important thing for a footballer to learn."

Santi Cazorla

"They have to learn to be stronger and rise above it because criticism is part and parcel of football and that’s an important thing for a footballer to learn.”

At 31 years of age, Cazorla has a raft of experience to call upon, but he has one key piece of advice to offer to his younger team-mates.

"The most important thing is to take care of yourself physically, as years of football take their toll,” he said. "I know this now at the age of 31. When I was 23 or 24, I thought I could take on the whole world, train everyday and nothing would ever hurt. But at 31 it’s a different story.

"Your body has been through a lot, you can’t carry on the same way because your body just won’t tolerate it and that’s what I try to explain to the younger ones.

"They may feel fine now and train hard every day but I advise them to take care of themselves. Because in the end, everything has an impact on the body and things can change overnight.

"You really need to look after your body and make sure you rest it properly too if you want to have a long career."

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