Juan Mata has insisted he won’t relax while at Manchester United, and revealed his desire to win the Premier League.
“I would love to win it,” he told Soccer Saturday. “I have been lucky enough to win so many trophies already. But I’ve been in England six seasons now and haven’t won it yet.
“I’m 28 years old now and time flies. It feels like yesterday that I was playing in my first year at Valencia when I was 19.
There are so many good and bad things that I’ve been through, flying through the years, so you need to sometimes take a step aside and think about what you are doing and what you still want to achieve.
“Because for me it’s very important not to relax as a professional footballer and think I’ve won trophies with great teams and that is success. For me it is about always getting hungrier, trying to improve and trying to be better.”
“They need that time to go out of their comfort zone or a zone where they are protected because we assume that the objective is not to win, that also takes time.”
“You need to manage playing here and you need to handle it,” he explained. “If you play for a club like this you need to know that there is a lot of competition for places. There is a lot of competition within the team and then with other clubs.
“When a team faces Manchester United they will always fight until the end. We have to be ready for that and when you play for United you need to know that. I think the right mentality is to try to win.”
I remember when I was playing in Valencia I was playing on the left wing, like a proper winger trying to run in behind the defence and make different kinds of movements,” he added.
“Since I came to England at Chelsea I played as a No 10, more trying to create for others rather than run in behind so I think it has been good for me because I have adapted to a different style of football but I can do both.
“So I’m quite happy with the experiences English football has given me because if I just played in La Liga all my career I wouldn’t have had the chance to improve in certain aspects of the game which I have done abroad.”
“I’m very happy with the love you receive from the fans. I think here in England they are so respectful in the way they treat football players.”
So is embracing the culture of a place of work important?
“I guess it depends on the personality of the player, but for me it’s important to feel confident in my surroundings.
“I need to learn from the city I’m living in and the history of the club I’m playing for. It helps me to be in a better mind-set and be happier. And if you feel more confident you can perform better.”