Happy Saturday. Manchester United may not be playing today, but Juan Mata has given a lengthy interview to The Guardian where he discusses all manner of things and, as usual, comes across as a smooth, very likeable man.
You can read the whole interview here, but we'll post some choice excerpts.
On signing for United:
"When you're not playing you don't always have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester United, prepared to pay a barbaridad (fortune) to sign you. It's hard to find a club that does that, especially for a player who's not playing. It gives you enormous confidence, to be United's most expensive player is a big deal and makes me feel I have played well in England. I'm grateful they think so highly of me."
On Ryan Giggs:
"I told him [he was my idol] when I arrived," Mata smiles. "And he said to me, joking: 'I'm really happy you're here … but I'm a bit sad too. Now I'm only the second best left-footer here'."
On David Moyes:
"David [Moyes] called me and said they needed a player like me who makes the team play, who could offer fluidity and provide assists and goals. He told me he thought I could play in any of the three positions behind the striker. I said, yes, I'd played in all three during my career. But in negotiations like this, it always takes a long time. Then came the journey in the helicopter. It was all a bit unreal. And then after just two days' training, I was playing for Manchester United."
On his best position:
"I don't consider myself a right-winger but it offers me the chance to come inside and that way I have a broader field of vision. It's true, though, that the position that I play best in is media punta . You get into the area more, you provide more assists, more goals, but I can play in any of the three."
And there you are. Lovely stuff. Hopefully Giggs' opinion of Mata has continued and he doesn't 'not fancy him', as some people have suggested. That said, Mata has been somewhat anonymous in certain games - excusable when the entire team were awful too, but hopefully his second season he can really press on and show us what he's capable of.