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Juan Mata: I am massively overpaid by Manchester United

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Manchester United's Spanish playmaker has been thinking about the economics of football, and something doesn't add up ...

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Footballers aren't always noted for their self-awareness, so it's always refreshing when one of them takes a moment, looks at the state of the sport and the money sloshing around and thinks: it's all a bit off, this. And of those currently plying their trade at Old Trafford, you won't be hugely surprised to learn that it's Juan "Hugs" Mata who has addressed the subject.

In an interview on Spanish television — helpfully translated by the Guardian, who estimate Mata's own wage as being around £150,000 a week — the Diminutive Juan noted that:

Football is very well remunerated at this level. It's like we live in a bubble. Compared to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It's unfathomable. With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9% of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn a silly amount.

Pausing only to raise a red flag and flick though the pages of the Communist Manifesto, probably, he went on to bemoan the corrupting influence of money on the sport and on young footballers:

The business side of football makes it seem as though the owners are now more important than the fans. Every player thinks he's Diego Maradona when he joins a big club. That happens to all of us but then you notice it in the younger players. You see kids who think they're rock stars; wearing extravagant clothes and driving flash cars ... sometimes you have to take them aside and have a word.

At this point we should remind you that the Busby Babe's official position on Memphis Depay's shopping habits is that since buying shiny cars after playing badly appears to really irritate many awful people, he can do as he pleases.

Finally, Mata addressed the golden elephant in one of the massive rooms in his massive house.

I don't enjoy the business side of football. I love the game. I love training and competing. I'd take a pay cut if there was less business involvement in the sport. At this level, we're very well paid and sometimes you start thinking there isn't much of a difference between x and x+3.

Hasta la victoria siempre!