Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has insisted he wants to remain at the club for the next few seasons at least, as he prepares for a landmark game when the Premier League returns.
United’s next fixture would be the Spaniard’s 250th for the Red Devils, a number Mata ‘cannot believe’ has come around so quickly.
In an interview with his club’s Twitter account, Mata spoke about the pride he felt having served as a United player for such a long time, as well as reminiscing about the start of his time after his transfer from Chelsea in January 2014.
He said: “It feels like it has gone very quickly, it feels like time flies. I didn’t know it was going to be my 250th game, but I feel proud. When you play your first game you feel like you are in a new beginning, a very exciting moment in your life playing for this club. I don’t want to stop here, I want to keep going and going, and keep adding games in a United shirt.”
Mata joined Man Utd for £40m and made his debut against Cardiff City, who were managed by his current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær. He continued the interview remembering the day he joined the club, arriving at the reigning Premier League champions by helicopter.
“I have to start with the day I arrived and the way I arrived in helicopter. It was unforgettable. David Moyes was welcoming me to the club, De Gea was also waiting there. After that, my debut, we played against Cardiff with Ole as Cardiff manager so that’s always forever in my memory.”
Mata finished by going through some of his favourite goals in a United shirt, including his first strike, against Villa, and the equaliser he scored in the FA Cup final of 2016. Of course, a special place in his memory is saved for the amazing overhead kick he scored at Anfield to grab a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in January 2015.
“My first goal was against Aston Villa, at the Stretford End. It was a messy goal, not very beautiful, but I think it was eight or nine games without scoring for the club so it was very important for me.
“The goal in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, we were losing and it was almost the end of the game, so when I scored I was also happy in that I helped the team to win. The game at Anfield, I always come back to it, why not? The Europa League final as well, I enjoy thinking about them, and hopefully many more to come.”