By Andrew Atkinson
Juan Mata is looking to go into coaching and has started taking Management and UEFA coaching badges ready for when he hangs up his boots at Manchester United after an illustrious career.
“I’m starting to do some courses. I’m doing a management course and also coaching badges,” said Mata, who played for Valencia during 2007-11.
“It’s nice to do things in your time off, when you become over 30 it’s important for football players to start thinking about what to do next.
“Of course, I want to play for as long as I can – there’s nothing better than playing football – but you have to start to be ready and do something.”
Burgos born Mata, raised in Oviedo, Austrias, has featured in United’s pre-season friendlies this summer after signing a one year extension to his contract at The Reds, ahead of the 2021-22 season.
United Gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We are a young squad and that’s been part of the thinking.
“We have the professionals that can be an example day in and day out.
“Our young lads think they know it because we bring them up through the Academy and they do learn good habits.
“But then they come into the first team and see World Cup winners like Juan and the way he conducts himself, even if he doesn’t play.”
Mata, 33, started only 10 of his 17 appearances last season, and Solskjaer said: “He didn’t play as much as he would have liked to last year – but he’s never ever letting himself or his team down with his attitude.”
Mata joined Valencia in 2007 making 129 appearances, joining Chelsea in a £28m move in 2011, prior to arriving at United in a £37.1m transfer in 2011.
Spain u16s, u17s, u19s, u20s, u21s, and u23s player Mata broke into the national senior team squad in 2009, winning 49 caps.
2010 FIFA World Cup winner Mata has been offered a Ambassadorial position at Old Trafford, upon retirement.
Manchester United current ambassadors include Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Gary Neville, Andy Cole, Bryan Robson, Peter Schmeichel, Park Ji-Sung and Nemanja Vidic.
Caption: Juan Mata at Valencia 2007-11.