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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 at Merseyside was nothing short of mesmeric. Performances like these that 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 has 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 – only the excellence of Lingard denied him. 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. Mourinho’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.

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.

'We're happy - but we want more' Article

Juan discusses our win over Brighton, Marcus Rashford and Friday's FA Cup tie at Arsenal in his latest blog post.

Juan Mata at his restaurant in Manchester.
Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“We are football players and we are on the stage of this amazing sport, but without the fans and without their passion and their love for the club, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“Before or after the games and at the training ground, when fans come to see us we always try to see them and meet them, which takes so little of our time but is so important for so many of them.”

Juan Mata at his restaurant in Manchester.
Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“There are many players I love to watch take free-kicks. Of course, with Manchester United, David Beckham was a reference for all of us – his technique was a joke!”

Juan Mata at his restaurant in Manchester.
Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“The people of Manchester are what make this city special. Obviously, the rivalry between United and City is quite big, but everyone I find in the street, they are warm and welcoming and open.”

Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“I like to disconnect from football and go into the English countryside. That’s where I find these nice paths and hotels to stay. The weather is not the best, but the people and history makes up for it.”

Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“I like the cinema, I like art and I like to read. All of my friends, we have the same interests. Yes, I’m a professional football player, but other than that I’m a normal human being with a curiosity for life.”

Juan Mata at his restaurant in Manchester.
Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“I’d tell my younger self he will play for United… he probably wouldn’t believe me! I would say you must enjoy it and play as many games as you can, because it’s very difficult to repeat in your life.”

Juan Mata to Inside United magazine says

“I love life in Manchester. I’m very happy. I’ve been here for nearly five years now, and every day I find new things that make me love Manchester a little more. I feel privileged and lucky in life.”

Juan Mata at his restaurant in Manchester.
Our adopted Mancunian
Juan Mata to Inside United says

"The people in Manchester are what makes this city special. Everyone I find in the street, in the restaurants and everywhere, they are warm and welcoming and open."

Juan Mata with David De Gea.

'David showed he's an amazing keeper!' Article

In his latest blog entry, Juan reflects on our win at Spurs, De Gea's determined display and his award in Spain.

Jesse Lingard celebrates a Community Shield goal against Leicester.

United's Wembley wonders Article

We take an in-depth look at the current Reds stars' record at the national stadium.

Juan Mata receiving an award in Spain.

Mata adds another trophy to his collection Article

The full story on Juan receiving the ‘Queen Sofia’ prize at the National Sports Awards in his native Spain.

Juan Mata.

Mata welcomes training break Article

Writing his first blog post of 2019 from Dubai, Juan Mata discusses the trip and reflects on beating Reading.

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