Juan Mata ‘proudest man in the world’ as he sends emotional goodbye to Manchester United fans

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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Juan Mata has sent a long farewell message to Manchester United fans as he leaves Old Trafford this summer.

The Spaniard joined the club from Chelsea in January 2014 and made 258 appearances, winning the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup during his eight years in Manchester.

The 34-year-old joins the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard in leaving United this month at the end of his contract, with their departures officially confirmed on Friday. Mata has previously confirmed that he does not intend on retiring this summer.

Alongside a video posted on social media looking back on his time at the club, Mata spoke of his pride at representing United as he said a final goodbye to the fans.

“It would be impossible for me to express in this text all the feelings that I have been experiencing over the last weeks but, to sum it up, I would like to say I am the proudest man in the world having represented this unique club for the last eight-and-a-half seasons,” Mata said.

“It is something I would never have dreamt of, when I was little, as it felt too distant for a kid in Spain to, one day, play for one of the best clubs in the history of football but, sometimes, reality exceeds dreams.

“As I am writing these lines today, I couldn’t be more grateful with what my career has brought to me, so far, and I am as excited as that little kid about what the future might bring from now on, the same passion for playing football as that kid remains inside of me.”

There is expected to be plenty of change at Old Trafford this summer, as the rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag begins.

Mata, who was a popular figure during his time in Manchester, hopes that the club can put their recent troubles behind them and get back to challenging for trophies under the Dutchman.

“Manchester is, and will always be, a massive part of my life, on and off the pitch,” Mata said.

“I really feel like an adopted Mancunian, living here and understanding what it means to be part of this singular place in the world and its culture is something truly special. I feel I belong here.

“I wish nothing but the best to the club and new manager. I really hope this is the start of a new era, full of great football, trophies and enjoyment for you, our fans. It’s nothing more than you deserve and nothing less than what this football club should be about.

“This is not a goodbye but a ‘see you soon’ as I will keep coming back to Manchester, whenever I can. But, for now, from the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for letting me be a part of your history. I am truly honoured and proud and will always be one of you.”

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