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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 recording an episode of UTD Podcast

Mata: My United managers Article

The Spanish maestro opens up on the differences between the managers he's worked with at United.

Juan Mata holding Manchester United shirt.

Transfer tales: Juan Mata Article

Our no.8 reveals he initially did not want to leave Chelsea ahead of his transfer to the Reds in 2014.

Juan Mata celebrates scoring a goal.

Top 10 Mata goals video

Over the years Juan has scored some beauties for the Reds in the Premier League, but what's your favourite?

Juan Mata speaking on UTD Podcast.

UTD Podcast: Writing a book is tough! video

Juan Mata revealed how difficult it was to complete his book 'Suddenly a Footballer'...

Juan Mata celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester United.

Goal of the Day: Mata v Aston Villa video

On this day in 2014, Juan netted his first goal for the Reds in a 4-1 win over Villa...

Mata: Becks, Ruud and Real Madrid video

Juan Mata tells UTD Podcast about his first encounter with two United legends...

Juan Mata.

Five things we learned from Mata's podcast Article

Juan dropped plenty of gems in his enjoyable UTD Podcast with Helen Evans and David May.

UTD Podcast: Mata's relationship with Mourinho video

The subject of Jose Mourinho led to this fascinating seven-minute conversation in our no.8's UTD Podcast...

UTD Podcast: Mata's first meeting with LVG video

You must see this clip from Juan's UTD Podcast, as he recalls his first meeting with former boss Louis van Gaal...

UTD Podcast: The major honours of Mata's career video

Watch this fascinating section of Juan's UTD Podcast, where he details the major honours of his illustrious career...

UTD Podcast: How the fans amazed Mata in 2013/14 video

In our brand new UTD Podcast, Juan explains how the supporters amazed him during his first season at the club...

Mata: Why United's fans are priceless Article

Juan tells UTD Podcast about a moment he dreaded at Old Trafford turning into a huge positive for him.

This is Juanfield video

As you can see, 22 March is a good day for great goals. Here’s Juan’s acrobatic effort against Liverpool, from 2015…

Juan Mata.

United Hangout: Mata x Grant x Fletcher x Brown video

Hang out with Mata and Grant, plus legends Fletcher and Brown, before our stream of 'Juanfield' at 16:00 GMT...

Juan Mata.

How the Reds are training at home Article

Juan Mata and Lee Grant reveal some of the ways the players are keeping fit, during football's enforced break.

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