Juan Mata is used to producing moments of magic on the football pitch - but this week the Manchester United playmaker put his skills to great use on the FootGolf course.
The Spanish playmaker, blessed with that sweet left foot, was participating in a challenge - organised by Swissquote - alongside several teammates when he kicked the ball off a golf buggy and into the hole.
Did he mean it? We’ll let you be the judges. To watch the video, scroll down this page.
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Mata’s team - Team Spain - was comprised of the former Chelsea star and his compatriot Ander Herrera, while their opponents - Team UK - featured England international Chris Smalling and Northern Ireland centre-back Jonny Evans.
Team Spain, with their technical superiority, would have gone into the challenge as firm favourites - but Team UK gave a decent account of themselves.
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Team Spain beat Team UK
In the end, though, it was Mata and Herrera who took the trophy - although quite why the final score reads Team UK 3-2 Team Spain is a little mystifying, we must admit.
After the challenge, Mata said: “Herrera and I showed great Spanish teamwork to get our hands on the trophy. Manchester United has a very competitive culture and winning is always important especially against your teammates.
“We kick hundreds of footballs every day in training, but it took a lot of skill and quality to get the ball in the hole, particularly after Ander slipped on the first hole!”
Jonny Evans' future in doubt
Mata pulled off the best trick shot of the day, but it was the much-maligned Evans who produced arguably the best shot: a fabulous dink which brushed off the flag and nestled neatly in the hole.
There’s every chance that Evans, 27, will leave Old Trafford this summer following a poor season under Van Gaal.
Everton and Aston Villa are understood to be keen on signing the centre-back who, while undoubtedly a talented central defender, has often been guilty of lapses in concentration.
Smalling used to be the same, but he was arguably Manchester United’s best outfield performer in the second half of the 2014-15 campaign and has subsequently salvaged his career at Old Trafford.
There are no doubts over the futures of either Mata and Herrera, both of whom have performed well over the course of the season - once they had won the trust of their demanding coach, anyway.
Mata finished the season with nine goals and four assists in the Premier League, while £29 million summer signing Herrera contributed six goals and four assists in his debut campaign at Old Trafford.
Whose shot was better? Juan Mata’s or Jonny Evans’? Have your say in the comments below!
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