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Juan Mata exudes class, intelligence and panache – and not just with a ball at his feet.

The Reds’ no.8 has asserted himself as one of our key performers during his time at Old Trafford, regularly contributing important goals and assists. That includes a stunning scissor kick at Liverpool in March 2015, and his display on Merseyside was nothing short of mesmeric. Performances like these elevated Juan to the status of a fans' favourite. Mata is an influential performer in any of the three main attacking positions across the pitch behind the lead striker – on either flank or in the no.10 role. A world-class creator and consistent goal-getter, he previously proved his class at Valencia and Chelsea. However, his game is about more than just attacking from deep to score goals. The Spain international has a sweet left foot, wonderful poise and balance, possesses great vision for a killer pass or wicked cross and is a danger from set-pieces. His creativity sets him apart; few players can match his minutes-per-assist ratio in the division. He was voted Chelsea's Player of the Year in both full campaigns in West London. These individual awards joined FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League winners' medals in his collection. At international level, Mata's list of honours is even more impressive. He was among Spain's World Cup and European Championship winners, making one substitute appearance in South Africa 2010 before proving even more influential at Euro 2012 by scoring in the final against Italy. He also captained Spain to European Under-21 Championship glory in 2011 and represented his country at the 2012 Olympics. Following his move to Old Trafford from Stamford Bridge in January 2014 – when the Spaniard travelled to the Aon Training Complex by helicopter – Mata scored a crucial equaliser in United’s dramatic extra-time victory over Crystal Palace in the 2016 FA Cup final. He also started the EFL Cup final success against Southampton and Europa League triumph against Ajax in 2017. Mata’s eye for a pass and knack of chipping in with key goals continued in 2017/18 – his double away to Leicester in December a highlight of his campaign. Those goals capped Juan’s best spell of the season, his displays earning a deserved nomination as the club’s Player of the Month for December, when only the excellence of Jesse Lingard denied him the award. In February, the hugely popular player was frustrated to be involved in the first Video Assisted Refereeing decision in United’s history. His ‘goal’ in the fourth-round FA Cup win at Huddersfield was controversially adjudged offside, despite inconclusive video evidence. United’s attacking options meant that Mata was part of a regularly rotated forward line-up in the final months of the season, stepping off the bench late on in the FA Cup final. Mata has always been something of a dead-ball expert, but in 2018/19 he scored two vital free-kicks for the Reds – the first of which kickstarted our 3-2 comeback against Newcastle and the second ensured we beat Juventus 2-1 in Turin. Now one of the senior heads in the United dressing room, the Spaniard serves as a model professional for the younger members of our squad. The widely respected player – who hails from Asturias in north-west Spain – signed a new contract with the club ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. The deal will keep him in M16 until at least June 2021, and also contains an option for a further one-year extension.

Read Less About Juan Mata
  • Position

    Midfielder

  • Country

    Spain

  • Date of birth

  • Joined

  • United debut

    v Cardiff City (H)

I try to play with the ball – possession, passes, assists – but scoring goals has also been a big part of my career

Latest

Juan Mata signing autographs at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata: My hometown Article

Juan discusses life growing up in Oviedo and which other famous sports stars were also born there.

Juan Mata.

Tunnel Insider: United 3 Partizan 0 video

🎙💬 Turn your sound up for our latest episode of 'Tunnel Insider', which this week stars Paddy Crerand & Juan Mata...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer walks to his place in the dug-out.

Solskjaer's team news for Brighton test Article

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provides an update on his plans for Sunday's home encounter with the Seagulls.

Juan Mata

Mata aims for Euro top spot Article

United have qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League, but the Spaniard says the job's not done yet.

Mata wants to top the group video

"We want to win the two remaining games and top the group," states Juan Mata in our interview...

Juan Mata at the Old Trafford Megastore.

Mata meets fans at the Megastore video

Watch what happened when the nicest man in football, Juan Mata, held a book-signing event on Monday...

Juan Mata scores against Norwich City

Classic match: Norwich 0 United 1 video

Relive what happened the last time the Reds were at Carrow Road, back in May 2016...

Juan Mata at Manchester United training

Mata: We're on the way to Serbia Article

Our Spanish midfielder offers his thoughts on the test in Belgrade, directly from the plane.

Juan Mata in training.

Mata: We can change the dynamic Article

In his latest blog, Juan explains how a win over rivals Liverpool could have a massive impact on our season.

Juan Mata.

Mata has confidence in our young Reds video

Watch our exclusive Q&A with Juan Mata, who is confident the youngsters will handle the experience of a European away...

Juan Mata at a Europa League press conference

Mata: This team can win trophies Article

Juan assessed United's chances of glory when speaking at Wednesday's pre-match press conference.

Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford celebrate a goal for Manchester United

Mata: There's no better feeling than scoring Article

In a fourth extract from his book, Juan analyses how it feels to score and what goes in to the build-up of a goal.

Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney stand over a free-kick during Manchester United's game against Wigan Athletic in 2017

Mata: Why Rooney was a great leader Article

In our latest extract from his new book, Juan explains why he always valued our record scorer's contribution as captain.

Juan Mata talks to fans outside Old Trafford

Who does Mata call before every match? Article

In an extract from his new book, Juan reveals the person he always speaks to before kick-off.

Juan Mata signs autographs with fans ahead of Leicester City match.

Out now: Juan Mata's autobiography Article

Find out more about the Spaniard's new book and where 99 per cent of the proceeds will go.

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