Manchester United veteran Juan Mata has revealed that he hasn’t played as much football as he would have liked this season but still enjoys playing the game and training with his teammates. The 33-year-old has been tipped to retire at the end of this season with his contract due to expire.
While he hasn’t quite hit the heights that he did with Chelsea, few will deny the fact that Juan Mata has done well at Manchester United. Over the years, the Spaniard has proven to be a consistent presence in their midfield while also orchestrating more than a few moves himself. But despite that, the now 33-year-old hasn’t won too many accolades with just the Europa League and an FA Cup crown with the Red Devils.
Things have gotten worse for him with age with his game-time slowly but steadily dropping down and things have fallen off the cliff this season. The Spaniard has played just five games across all competitions for the club with rumours that he is set to retire once his contract expires at the end of the term. But Mata has reassured fans over his future and admitted that he loves being a footballer, and wants that to continue for as long as it can.
“I haven’t been playing as much as I would like this season and I really miss it. I’m enjoying training with my team-mates and I really want to show that I can enjoy playing and giving what I can give to the team. I miss it and I still have a lot of passion and a lot of will to keep enjoying football,” Mata said, reported Goal.
“This is a dream come true to be a professional football player so I want to play as much as I can and I feel good, to be honest: mentally, physically, I am of course ready to perform, so hopefully soon.”
The rumours were built up because of Common Goal, the pledge based charity that Mata set up in 2017, with it indicating that the 33-year-old was going to retire in order to focus more on that. But the midfielder added that he will continue to be involved with Common Goal as that goes beyond football and beyond his career although he’s “100% committed to playing”.
“Of course, I will be involved with Common Goal because that’s something that goes beyond football. It’s something that will last for much longer and it will stay there after I stop and many members stop, but my mind is 100 per cent committed to playing,” he added.