Although further silverware eluded United in the subsequent five campaigns, Mata continued to enjoy his football when called upon.
Juan made more than 30 appearances in each of the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons and although his tallies dropped below 20 in the last two terms, he remained a highly regarded member of the squad. His team-mates and members of staff never tired of praising his professional attitude and positivity.
Victor Lindelof enthused 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.”
During an interview in April 2022, Mata himself said: “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.”
Thank you for dedicating eight years of your career to United, Juan. Everyone at the club wishes you all the best for the future.