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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 in a training session for Manchester United in Perth

Mata: Why I signed a new United contract Article

The midfielder has spoken to MUTV about the reasons behind his decision to stay at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata arrives at Fulham's Craven Cottage last season.

Mata will keep setting the right example Article

Juan is smart on and off the pitch, and certainly appreciates what it means to play for this great club.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says

"We have some fantastic young players here and I know that Juan’s vast experience will help them to reach their potential over the coming seasons."

Juan Mata in action for Manchester United in the 2018/19 season.

Confirmed: Mata signs new contract Article

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer outlines Juan Mata's influence as the Spaniard extends his stay at Old Trafford.

Manchester United's famous Old Trafford pitch.

United confirm released list Article

The club wishes its departing players well as the squad begins to take shape for 2019/20.

Juan Mata

Mata: My memories of United's Treble success Article

Juan Mata was only 11 years old when United won the Treble in 1999 but he recalls two aspects vividly.

Juan Mata prepares to embrace Antonio Valencia after the final game of the season

Mata: It's time to analyse, reflect and improve Article

Juan Mata's final blog of the season covers the Cardiff game and the departure of two Spanish-speaking team-mates.

Juan Mata.

UTD Unscripted: Wielding the power of football Article

In our new long read, the charitable Juan Mata goes deep on the motivations behind his Common Goal project.

Juan Mata.
UTD Unscripted
Juan Mata on Common Goal says

"Why am I so passionate about it? Why do I use my time for it? That’s what my girlfriend says to me! Because something like this needs to be done."

Juan Mata
Mata's message to the fans
JuanMata8.com says

"You deserve better. No more words."

Juan Mata in training

Mata's words of wisdom for United youngsters Article

Juan is impressed by the club's current crop of young players and gives them some useful advice to keep progressing.

Tahith Chong and Lee O'Connor training
Juan Mata says

“I like the young players very much. I like their work-rate and attitude. They’re humble and they want to learn - that’s very important at that age."

Juan Mata celebrates his goal against Chelsea.

Mata: There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves Article

Juan thanks fans for birthday messages, reflects on Chelsea and looks ahead to Huddersfield in his latest blog post.

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