New Arsenal star Santi Cazorla has sympathised with Juan Mata after his compatriot at Chelsea was overlooked for the latest Spain squad.
Cazorla has been in terrific form for the Gunners since he was signed by Arsene Wenger from Malaga this summer, but Mata has also been impressive in the Stamford Bridge club’s unbeaten march to the summit of the Premier League.
So it was a shock to many when the Chelsea man was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s latest selection for Spain’s Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and France over the next week.
While the Emirates Stadium star praised Mata for the progress he is making and the reputation he is building in the Premier League, Cazorla would not criticise Del Bosque’s selection.
“Juan Mata is very highly rated, he is doing great work and that is especially recognised in England,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN.
“But the coach decides who comes with the national team.”
It is generally accepted that the 27-year-old has been one of the buys of the summer, and a bargain to boot, as Arsenal only signed him for the relatively modest fee of £14million.
Mata was the match-winner when Chelsea travelled to Emirates Stadium a few weeks ago, setting up the first and scoring the second in a 2-0 win for Roberto di Matteo’s side.