Voted into this season’s English Premier League team of the year by the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association), Juan Mata has firmly established himself as leading figure in a Chelsea side that lifted both the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League and the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League.
Part of the Spain squads that triumphed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and UEFA EURO 2012, Mata heads to the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 determined to add to his rapidly growing honours’ list as well as enjoying more playing time than at the latter two international tournaments.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder does face fierce competition for a starting role, however, in an area of the field also occupied by the likes of Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Pedro - though Vicente del Bosque is a known admirer of his excellent technique, elusive dribbling and nose for goal. Moreover, Mata is versatile enough to shine as a No10, out wide in a front three and even dropping deeper into midfield to take on playmaking duties.
A product of the youth academy at Oviedo, Mata was snapped up by Real Madrid, who in turn let the starlet slip away to Valencia, where his career well and truly took off. Now thriving in the blue of Chelsea, where he enjoys a fruitful partnership with Fernando Torres, the Asturias-born attacker goes into the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 in the form of his life and is determined to finally nail down a starting berth with La Roja.