Mata: 50 PL goals seemed so far away

24 Jan 2019

Spaniard expresses his pride after achieving a half-century of PL strikes from midfield

Juan Mata may have scored only 22 minutes after making his Premier League bow in August 2011, for Chelsea against Norwich City. But as a midfielder, reaching 50 goals in the competition still seemed a tough task.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard achieved his half-century last month when he struck in Manchester United's 4-1 home win over Fulham.

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"It felt so far away," says Mata after being given a special Milestone award by the Premier League, in association with Cadbury.

"It was important for me to score in the first game. From that moment it was a bit closer but 50 goals is a good mark, especially for someone who is not a striker. I'm proud of it.

"I remember also my first goal with Manchester United against Aston Villa, in front of the Stretford End at Old Trafford, which was a dream as well."

'United fans remember that goal'

Mata has particularly fond memories of his brace, including an acrobatic volley, when Man Utd beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield in March 2015.

"It's always nice to score against Liverpool," he says. "All the United fans remember that goal still.

"I've been playing football for a long time now but I still feel young, mentally and physically.

"I still feel that I have a lot of football in my mind and in my legs, and hopefully I can play for many more years."

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