Juan Mata has said he has taken it upon himself to mentor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s young players at Manchester United.
Mata has been in and out of the team this season after signing a new deal at Old Trafford in the summer, but the 31-year-old, who has been at United for six years, says his role at the club extends off the pitch as well as on it.
“I have been playing in a club, and in English football and professionally for 12, 13 years now so that gives me experience, especially in difficult situations, to behave in a certain way or give advice to the young players,” Mata told the official Manchester United podcast.cheap nfl jerseys china nike
“I think he [Solskjaer] values that also. Me as a player, what I can give on the pitch, but also that I will try my best off the pitch for the new players that come, like right now Bruno [Fernandes] and Odion [Ighalo] and for the youngsters that come through the academy like, Brandon [Williams], Chongy [Tahith Chong], Angel [Gomes] and Jimmy [Garner].”
Mata is approaching 600 club appearances during a career that has seen him win almost every major trophy including the World Cup, European Championship and the Champions League.
The only thing that’s missing from his time in English football is the Premier League title but he believes there’s still time to get his hands on a winners’ medal.
“I would love to win it and of course I want to win it before I finish playing,” Mata said. “David De Gea always tells me when he arrived here, I think they lost the Premier League by one point in the first season but in the second season they won. He told me it was incredible.
“And everything was red and it was just unbelievable. I’m counting the days to be able to do that.
“Maybe I will play until my 50s if needed but if I don’t win it it’s alright also. You know I’m not really obsessed about it, it would be very nice to have won almost everything. When people ask me: ‘if you have to choose one?’ it would be the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United and Manchester City have pledged a combined £100,000 to help vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.
The money will fund food banks in Greater Manchester, with United and City donating £50,000 each to the Trussell Trust. The Trust supports over 1,200 food banks for vulnerable people, with food donations on hold on match days following the suspension of the Premier League season.