Juan Mata: This is a very special time
Today I am writing this at the start of a very special week for everyone involved.
All eyes are on Wednesday. The quarter-final stage of the Champions League against Barcelona is, without any doubt, a huge challenge that we have ahead of us, but we are heading into it with excitement and motivation, and it couldn’t be any other way.
It is one of those ties which you dream of playing when you’re a kid. We must be competitive and prepared to battle, but we also have to enjoy it.
As you can imagine, we are preparing for the game with cool heads, but at the same time we are training with plenty of intensity. We sense what the fans are feeling in the days leading up to the game, and we are sure that the atmosphere at Old Trafford on Wednesday will be incredible.
We come into this week having lost in the Premier League against Wolves, so it goes without saying that we are aware that if we aren’t at our best, fully concentrated and prepared, it will be tough to get a positive result.
Personally, I feel good, I have fully recovered from the injury which I picked up a few weeks ago and I am motivated to finish the season well with my team-mates.
I have faced Barcelona many times during my career, with lots of different results in many different competitions… but it is impossible to forget the Champions League semi-finals [with Chelsea] in 2012.
I have also been fortunate enough to score against them and I know that any games against such a big opponent are always special.
They are undoubtedly a great team, but we will give everything we can to tip the balance in our favour and progress to the semi final. As the boss says, this tie can be seen as a mountain – but they are there to be climbed.
Hugs, I hope you all have a great week. Hopefully ours will be too!