Chelsea's Juan Mata must be the unluckiest attacking midfielder in world football right now.
Not only does the Spaniard have to compete with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva to break into his national team, but he has now fallen out of favour with his club too.
Since his return from Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho has openly admitted his preference of playing Brazilian midfielder Oscar.
Mata was crowned as Chelsea's player of season in 2012/13 for the second successive year, scoring 20 goals in 55 appearances in the process.
But so far in this campaign he has made just five Premier League appearances, and his first goal for the Blues came in last night's 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates.
Mourinho has criticised Mata's work ethic and clearly prefers Oscar - who has scored four goals in nine Premier League appearances this season - as an all round team player.
Therefore, in order to break back into the first team, the Spaniard will most likely need to displace either Eden Hazard or Andre Schurrle.
This will be a difficult task, with Hazard having scored three goals and provided one assist in eight league starts for the Blues, while Andre Schurrle was selected ahead of Mata for Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
The German shone in that game, scoring his side's opening goal, which makes gaining Mourinho's favour an increasingly difficult task for Mata.
With the World Cup in Brazil rapidly approaching, Mata will be hoping that he has impressed Mourinho enough to earn a recall, as regular Premier League football will surely be vital if he is to be on the Spanish plane to Rio de Janeiro.
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