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Juan Mata Gives Supremely Classy Interview In An Art Gallery With Gary Lineker

Juan Mata Gives Supremely Classy Interview In An Art Gallery With Gary Lineker
By Mikey Traynor

Gary Lineker had a chance to catch up with Manchester United's Spanish attacking midfielder and known nice-guy Juan Mata for The Premier League Show on BBC last night, and the result was one of the most pleasant and enjoyable footballer interviews for some time.

Mata is a fascinating individual and someone who defies the stereotype of a modern footballer. The fact that this interview with Lineker took place in an art gallery, somewhere the Spaniard frequents to unwind, makes it pretty clear that this was not the standard 'Who is the DJ in the dressing room?' deal we're usually served.

Instead, Mata's genuine humility shines as he described what it meant to him be a Manchester United player, and discussed his relationship with Jose Mourinho.

You can catch the interview in full below, but we've picked out a handful of Mata musings that stood out.

On Mourinho allowing him to leave Chelsea:

I think it was a football reason, style or something like this, but we never had any personal problems or anything like this. In fact, we are working together now and it's going fine.

On the pressure of expectation around Paul Pogba:

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You know when these big transfers come and the expectations are so high, people lose perception of the reality. We are not machines. It's not that they paid that money for you so you have to score every single game.

On his reputation as a nice guy:

I don't think about being liked or not, you know? I just try to be normal. I'm a football player but I'm a human being first. Obviously I feel lucky because I live a life that anyone would dream for, which is; you like football, you play football.

On his love of art:

I like modern art and I like pop art as well. You know I admire creative people, in every sense of the word.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6ikx3YXjKM

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One of the good guys.

He's also an important player for Man Utd, and can be relied upon to chip in with goals and assists as well as the occasional first-touch that that draws a pause for appreciation from the crowd.

Jamie Carragher made the argument that he is one of the Premier League's most underrated players, and his stats are as good as anyone since he arrived in English football.

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Even if you're not a fan of him on the pitch, you've got to respect someone with their head so firmly screwed on to their shoulders.


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