Juan Mata shared history with Jose Mourinho before he jumped the ship from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford. A lot of dust was raised when a player that won player of the year twice became an outcast under the Portuguese manager within a space of six months.
To the dismay of the fans of Chelsea, Mourinho sold Mata to Man United in the 2014 and when he was appointed to the reigns of Old Trafford last summer, it was widely believed that the diminutive Spanish midfielder would be again offloaded by Mourinho.
Nonetheless, and against all the odds, Mata continues to be in the squad of the Red Devils and has claimed that he’s never had an altercation with the Special One, per this report.
The Spaniard just returned from a lengthy spell on the sideline following a groin injury. He’s contributed massively to United’s season thus far, scoring 10 goals and providing 4 assists in all competitions this term.
He Spoke with Spanish outlet as per the report and made bare his mind regarding his relationship with Mourinho and why he was sold to United in a tell all interview with the media.
“I’ve never had a bad relationship with Mourinho. We’ve never had an argument. Our relationship is normal.
“Simply, at Chelsea I wanted to play in a certain way and at United there were other types of players more in line with my characteristics.We are both the same, we have not changed.”
Mata added that: “It’s complicated, but managing personalities is almost more important than the tactical or physical side.
“It is having the ability to motivate players and communication should be in a positive way, the environment is good.
“People express themselves better when they feel comfortable.That happens in football and in all jobs.”
Mata’s return from injury is timely for the Red Devils and is in line for a starting place in the team when they take on Celta Vigo in the first leg semi-final Europa Cup match. He can play behind the striker or on the flank and he’s adept at tearing defenses apart with his short passes.
Mourinho is expected to bolster his squad next summer but Mata will remain at Old Trafford as the Special One continues his rebuilding effort.