English Premiership

Mata moved to boost SWC shot

2014-01-27 17:34
Juan Mata (AFP)

Manchester - Juan Mata hopes his club record transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United will help cement his place in the Spain World Cup squad in Brazil later this year.

A lack of first-team opportunities, and concerns over his international future, prompted the attacking midfielder into completing his 37.1 million (44.7m euros) transfer between the Premier League rivals.

Mata, 25, was relaxed and enthusiastic as he was unveiled to the world's media at United's training ground on Monday and admitted that the helicopter journey his new employers provided had been one of the highlights of his move.

But it was the more serious prospect of ensuring he added to the 32 caps he has already earned with his national team that led to the transfer, especially as Mata had been left out of one Spain squad already this season.

"It was really important," said Mata of the part concerns over an international place played in his move.

"The Spain squad is really difficult to get into, there are a lot of players fighting for positions to be in the last 23 going to Brazil.

"I hope this is a great chance for me to keep playing, keep fit and show the manager of the national team I want to be there, I have to be there.

"I don't know what would have happened if I had stayed at Chelsea. Now I am here, now the moment is here. Now I'm trying to play as much as I can to help the team and if things are good in the final part of the season, the World Cup is going to be closer for me, for sure."

Mata's move from London to Manchester has been one of the more unusual in Premier League history with Blues manager Jose Mourinho content to sell such a highly-regarded player to one of Chelsea's traditional rivals.

The player himself admitted he was struggling to explain either his move, or the fact that his first team opportunities had all but disappeared since the return of the Portuguese manager to Stamford Bridge.

"It is football. In football everything is possible," said Mata. "The first two seasons in Chelsea for me were amazing, I settled down so quickly, the fans were unbelievable, the club, everything.

"The last six months were difficult because I didn't play as much as I wanted but I respect that. Jose is a very good manager, the squad is unbelievable, they have top, top players. I think they have one of the best squads in the Premier League.

"I respected all my team-mates, I just tried my best in training and every game and the minutes I had but when Man United came it was a great option for me to carry on with my career."

United manager David Moyes has struggled in his first season at Old Trafford, with humbling exits from both domestic cup competitions and a lacklustre defence of the club's Premier League title that has left them 14 points adrift of current leaders Arsenal.

But Moyes said the arrival of Mata showed United are now in the process of building for a bright future.

"I am thrilled," said the Scot. "I got wind a month or two ago it could be a possibility. I never believed we would pull it off, I have been saying that I didn't think we would get a chance to do much business in January.

"I didn't think the players we would be interested in would be available but when we got the sniff that Juan would be available we went after it right away and I am delighted to have him here.

"There will be more players like Juan in the future, I have no doubt about that."

Meanwhile, Mata said he was particularly looking forward to playing in the same side as England striker Wayne Rooney, who is in talks with United over a contract extension.

"I can't wait to play alongside him," said Mata. "For me, he is one of the best players in the history of this country, he is unbelievable, he is a striker who can score, can assist and can come to the midfield to take the ball and move so I think I will enjoy playing alongside him."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
13 September 2014
Arsenal v Manchester City, Emirates Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Leicester City, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Burnley, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Newcastle United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadium of Light 16:00
Chelsea v Swansea City, Stamford Bridge 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Everton, The Hawthorns 16:00
Liverpool v Aston Villa, Anfield 18:30
14 September 2014
Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers, Old Trafford 17:00
15 September 2014
Hull City v West Ham United, The KC Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Is Louis van Gaal the right man to restore the glory days at United?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.