Daily Mirror 29 October 2009
Liverpool are reportedly planning to take advantage of Valencia's crippling financial problems by moving for the £16million-rated Spanish left winger Juan Mata next summer.
But what do you need to know about the man known as Juanin? Dan Silver reveals all...
1) Juan Manuel Matija Mata García was born in Burgos, northern Spain, on April 28, 1988. His father (and current agent), also called Juan Mata, played professionally for Real Oviedo, and so little Juanin naturally joined that club as a nine year-old.
2) A prodigious talent, he moved to Real Madrid three years later and quickly became the rising star of their various youth teams. In his last season as a Juvenil, Mata rattled in an impressive 18 goals.
3) He further enhanced his reputation playing for Real Madrid Castilla - Los Merengues' reserve team - starring in a side brimming with talents including Negredo, Jurado, Alberto Bueno, Granero, and Antonio Adan. Mata finished his final season as second-highest top scorer, chipping in with nine goals.
4) He didn't just excel on the pitch in Madrid, either. While at the club Mata studied journalism at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Presumably this makes him that rare player who can make the headlines on the pitch - and then write them up himself afterwards.
5) He agreed to sign for Valencia in March 2007, a move that is still a cause of some regret to Madrid fans to this day. Indeed, an increasingly vocal number of fans would like to see Juanin return as a replacement for Arjen Robben.
6) He was an immediate hit at Valencia, where his goals - two in the semi against Barcelona, and one in the final against Getafe - helped secure the 2008 Copa del Rey. Understandably he was voted the club's Best Young Player after his first season.
7) He's gone on to make 87 appearances for Los Che and scored 25 goals in the process.
8) His international breakthrough came at the 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, where Mata's four goals in five games helped Spain win the title. He made his Under-21 bow two months before his 19th birthday in a friendly against England.
9) He made his senior debut in March 2009, coming on as a sub in Spain's 1-0 World Cuq qualifier win over Turkey, and scored his first in a 3-0 win against Estonia. You can watch video of that strike below...
10) His father went on record last July to say that Valencia would not sell Mata in response to stories in the Spanish press that Barcelona were about to make a move. Since then, however, Valencia have fallen on hard times, and if Liverpool were to come calling with some serious money next summer, they might find it harder to resist...
This story has been reproduced from today’s media. It does not necessarily represent the views or position of Liverpool Football Club.
Another cheap entry posted by KeCiK Friday, October 30, 2009 exactly at pukul - 11:26 AM
Daily Mirror 29 October 2009