The Red Devils’ attacker Juan Mata has confirmed, once again, his intentions of retiring at Real Oviedo, the club he first joined as an academy player in 1998, as per Cadena COPE.
Mata spent five seasons with the club before joining Real Madrid’s youth set-up and then playing for the Castilla side.
The Spain international then moved to Valencia in 2007, winning the Copa del Rey in his first year at the club. It was during Mata’s spell at the Camp de Mestalla that he caught the eyes of Premier League giants Chelsea with his creative abilities. The West London side then signed him in the summer of 2011 for £23.5m [per BBC].
Mata would go on to help Chelsea win their first and only Champions League trophy till date in 2012, as he was a pivotal member of the team, winning the club’s player of the year. Following Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking in the 2012/13 season, the Spanish wizard also excelled under Rafa Benitez – who was employed then as an interim manager. Mata also won the club’s player of the year that season, after creating 95 chances which was the highest of any other Chelsea player.
On Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge in 2013, Mata did not enjoy enough game time as the Portuguese prefers Oscar, who fits his own philosophy of how a number ten should play. Then, Manchester United came calling and Mata transferred to Old Trafford for a then club record fee of £37.1m in January 2014.
The diminutive attacker has put in admirable performances this season, one of which was his back-heel assist for Chris Smalling in United’s 2-1 defeat of Wolfsburg in their Champions League group stage game on Wednesday evening.
Speaking after the match, Mata said: “I have always said I want to retire at Real Oviedo.”
With this statement, United fans will be hoping Mata at least delays his exit from the club till further notice.