Manchester United have confirmed that the Spanish midfielder Juan Mata will be leaving in the summer when his contract expires. 

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Since the 34-year-old wants to continue playing football professionally, he will not be joining the Premier League side in a coaching capacity. 

“I still have a lot of passion and a lot of will to keep enjoying football. This is a dream come true to be a professional football player so I want to play as much as I can”, Mata had said in an April 2022 interview, as per United’s official site. 

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Since joining the Old Trafford team in 2014, Mata has played 285 games, scoring 51 goals and winning four trophies. His final appearance was in United’s last fixture for the 2021/2022 season, where they lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace

Prior to his move to United, Mata had played for Chelsea, where he’d already tasted Champions League success besides winning the FA Cup and Europa League as well. Mata was also with the Spanish national side that won the 2010 World Cup and also played in the 2012 European Championship, where Spain was victorious. 

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United fans were naturally excited about his arrival and Mata’s first appearance came against Cardiff City on January 28, where the Red Devils secured a 2-0 home win, with the midfielder playing a crucial role to help Robin van Persie with an opener. 

With United, Mata won the FA Cup, Community Shield, League Cup, and Europa League. He dedicated eight years of his career to the club and had 30 appearances each in the 2017/2018, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 seasons. However, the count dropped in the last two terms. 

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Speaking of Mata, United teammate Victor Lindelof had said earlier this year, “As a player, the quality Juan has is amazing. His vision, his touch and his ability to see everything on the pitch are fantastic. As a person, he’s always happy and always positive. He’s just a great guy.” 

Announcing the news of Mata’s departure, the club wished him the best for his future.