1. Juan Manuel Mata Garca (Spanish pronunciation:; born 28 April 1988) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the Spain national team.
2. He mostly plays as a central attacking midfielder, but he can also play on the wing.
3. A graduate of Real Madrid’s youth academy, Mata played for Real Madrid Castilla in 2006 07, before joining Valencia in 2007 08.
4. He became an integral part of the club’s midfield, making 174 appearances over the course of four seasons. In August 2011, Mata signed for English Premier League club Chelsea for a fee believed to be in the region of 28million, and in his debut season was part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup.
5. The following year, Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League, making Mata and team-mate Fernando Torres the first players to hold the Champions League, Europa League, World Cup, and the European Championships simultaneously.
6. After falling out of favour at Chelsea under Jos Mourinho, Mata was sold to Manchester United in January 2014 for a fee of 37.1million.
7. Mata is a Spanish international, having represented Spain at under-16, under-17, under-19, under-20, under-21, Olympic, and senior levels.
8. In June 2009, Mata was included for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, his first senior tournament.
9. On 9 September 2009, Mata scored his first goal for the senior team, against Estonia, securing the nation a place in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and was part of Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup-winning squad.
10. In 2011, he went back to playing in the under-21 side, helping Spain win the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in Denmark.
11. He won the Golden Player award and was part of the Team of the Tournament.
12. Mata was born in the town of Ocn de Villafranca, Burgos. He inherited his name from his father, Juan Manuel Mata Rodrguez, who was also a footballer.
13. He was a forward who played in the 1980s and early 1990s for nearby Burgos CF.
14. Mata was raised in his father’s home town of Oviedo, Asturias.
15. His father later acted as Mata’s agent, becoming FIFA-registered in the process. Upon his move to Chelsea, he said he also enjoys sightseeing around London.
16. He gained a nickname at Chelsea “Johnny Kills,” the literal translation of his name from Spanish into English.
17. Mata started his football career at Real Oviedo, where his father spent most of his career.
18. He stayed there for three years before joining Real Madrid’s youth academy, La Fabrica, at age 15.
19. After appearing for their Cadete A team, he swiftly progressed through the junior teams, Juvenil C and finally the Juvenil A. In his last campaign (2005 06), he scored two goals in the league and three more in the Copa de Campeones, including the winner in the final against Real Valladolid, adding another three in the Spanish Juvenil Cup.
20. Switching to Real Madrid Castilla in 2006 07, Mata was given the number 34 shirt in the first team, while wearing number 28 in Castilla.
21. In spite of Castilla’s final Segunda Divisin relegation, he finished the season as the side’s second best scorer at ten, behind striker lvaro Negredo, who registered 18.
22. Mata had a release clause at Real Madrid during his last season at the club, and eventually agreed to sign for fellow La Liga side Valencia CF in March 2007, starting in 2007 08.
23. Benefitting from constant injuries to Vicente and the ostracism to which then-manager Ronald Koeman condemned Miguel ngel Angulo, Mata gradually carved a niche in Valencia’s first eleven.
24. On 20 March 2008, he scored twice in the Copa del Rey semifinal match against FC Barcelona to help Valencia reach the final against Getafe CF During that first season, he was voted the team’s Best Young Player by fans and players alike.
25. In the 2008 Spanish SuperCup, Mata scored against his former club Real Madrid in a 3 2 first leg win, but Valencia lost 5 6 on aggregate after a 2 4 away loss in the second game.