Former Nigeria international Odion Ighalo, Premier League giants Manchester United and organisers of Spanish topflight, LaLiga, have sent birthday greetings to Juan Mata who turns 32 on Tuesday, Completesports.com reports.
Ighalo wrote on his verified Twitter handle: “Happy birthday my boss, Juan Mata.”
According to LaLiga: “Juan Mata is celebrating today!
“Happy 32nd Birthday to Valencia legend!”
While United wrote: “Happy birthday to The Nicest Man In Football.
“We hope you have a great day.”
A graduate of Real Madrid’s youth academy , Mata played for Real Madrid Castilla in 2006–07, before joining Valencia in the summer of 2007.
He became an integral part of the club’s midfield, making 174 appearances over the course of four seasons.
In August 2011, Mata signed for Chelsea for a fee believed to be in the region of €28 million, and in his debut season was part of the team that won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup.
The following year, Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League, making Mata and teammate
Fernando Torres the first players to hold the
Champions League, Europa League, World Cup, and the European Championships simultaneously.
After falling out of favour at Chelsea under José Mourinho, Mata was sold to Manchester United in January 2014, for a fee of £37.1 million.
Since joining United, Mata has won the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and Europa League.
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By James Agberebi