Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata admitted it is “always nice to sink Liverpool” while reflecting on his latest goal milestone.
The Spanish international recently netted his 50th goal in the Premier League across spells with Chelsea and Manchester United.
How good is Mata’s record? Four key things to know to know…
- The 30-year-old moved to Chelsea from Valencia in 2011 for a transfer fee of £23.5 million.
- Mata went on to make 135 appearances for the Blues, scoring 32 goals in all competitions.
- Despite his obvious talent, Mata was sold to Premier League rivals Manchester United in 2014 for a then club record of £37.1 million.
- Since then, he has played 208 times for United, scoring 44 goals in all competitions.
In England, Mata has found great success with both Chelsea and current club Manchester United. With the Blues, Mata played a big part in their successful Champions League triumph in 2012, as well as both of their FA Cup and Europa League wins in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
With United, Mata also won both the Europa League (2017) and the FA Cup (2015), as well as the EFL Cup (2017) and the FA Community Shield (2016).
Discussing his time in the Premier League and his 50th Premier League goal milestone, Mata admitted that he has rather fond memories of his excellent brace against arch-rivals Liverpool in 2015, a match United won 2-1 away at Anfield.
“It’s always nice to score against Liverpool,” he said via the official Premier League website.
“All the United fans remember that goal still.
“I’ve been playing football for a long time now but I still feel young, mentally and physically.
“I still feel that I have a lot of football in my mind and in my legs, and hopefully I can play for many more years.”
What next for Mata?
Despite his obvious talents, Mata has recently found his time in the United first-team limited, fuelling rumours that the 30-year-old may depart Old Trafford in the near future in search of regular football.
Mata – who has also won both the Fifa World Cup and the European Championship with Spain – will no doubt have interest from a large variety of clubs at the top of the game.
He has already been linked with a potential move back to La Liga, with Barcelona reportedly keen on bringing the former Real Madrid youth player to the Nou Camp.
The biggest worry for United is that Mata’s contract has mere months left to run, with his current deal expiring at the end of this season.
A man of Mata’s talents is not a man you’d want to see leave the club, but United fans certainly wouldn’t want to see him depart without at least picking up a handsome transfer fee to ease their woes.