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Seven reasons why Juan Mata has a place in every football fan’s heart

Juan Mata is a fine footballer and an even finer human being. You don’t need to be a Manchester United, Chelsea or Valencia fan to have a place in your heart for Juan Mata.

The Spaniard was an absolute joy to watch when on top form, particularly in the peak years of his career at Chelsea before going on to conjure some truly special moments across his eight years in Manchester.

Chelsea and Manchester United aren’t exactly known for capturing the hearts of neutrals, but Juan Mata is one player that absolutely no one dislikes. Here are seven reasons why.

His skill

Even in this modern era of statistic-driven opinion, there are some players who everyone knows you have to watch to truly appreciate.

Mata might be slowing down now, rarely making it onto the pitch, but when he was in his prime, he was definitely one of those. Other midfielders might’ve scored more goals or claimed more assists, but very few provided quite as much joy.

We could watch his dribble against CSKA in December 2017 all day long.

🤯 @juanmata8 dancing past defenders for fun.#UCL HIGHLIGHTS 👉 https://t.co/v2duBtx7Us pic.twitter.com/rPGH4tRXt0

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 5, 2017

Comparing team-mates to… tapas?

If you didn’t know already, Mata owns a tapas bar in the centre of Manchester, which is cool enough on its own, but it also, of course, qualifies him to compare his team-mates to various dishes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is likened to a sirloin steak, Daley Blind to churros and David De Gea is best described as a fried squid, apparently.

Common Goal

Let’s be serious for a second, shall we? Away from the pitch, aside from eating tapas, Mata is driving his Common Goal charity, which continues to build pace.

The charity fund is asking for footballers to pledge 1% of their wages to a collective fund which goes to football charities around the globe.

Among the players to have committed are Mats Hummels, Giorgio Chiellini and Shinji Kagawa. English players Charlie Daniels, Alfie Mawson and Duncan Watmore are also on board, while UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has also joined the cause.

A blogger

Such is his will to communicate with supporters and…

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