Let’s pour a little out for Juan Mata. That may be a bit over-dramatic, but for those of us who’ve followed his career since the early Valencia days, it’s a bit sad to see the little Spanish wizard struggling like he has over the past couple years. My sincere hope is that he either A. Finds his best form in a Manchester United shirt, or B. Seeks pastures new and ends up in Bianconero where I can put my Champions League hopes and dreams on his slight shoulders. A man can dream, no?
In honor of that man, today’s Tricks and Flicks Tuesday is dedicated to Juancito. For long-time Mata followers, this little piece of brilliant skill is worth a monthly revisit. For those unfamiliar, you’re in for a treat.
Yes, that is Juan Mata in full post-World Cup 2010, pre Euro 2012 form. In a Valencia shirt at the time, it makes it even better that he humiliates then-teammate Raúl Albiol for this piece of sublime creativity. The only thing that could make this clip better is if it were in a game, but in middle of Spain pre-game training against an in-form Albiol will do just fine for me.