Juan Mata has earned quite a cult following thanks to his blog.
The Manchester United midfielder has revealed himself to be one of football’s more ‘conscious’ players, aware that professional footballers live in an entirely different world to the rest of us.
And he was as equally candid in an interview on Spanish television, in which his comments will likely endear him to a whole new load of football fans around the world.
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It’s rare to find a footballer willing to discuss how many millions he earns per year. It’s even rarer to find a player who will admit to being overpaid.
Step forward Mata, who has done both in his interview with television programme Salvados.
The 27-year-old claims he earns an “obscene” amount of money and that he doesn’t live a normal life.
“Football is very well remunerated at this level," Mata said, per the Telegraph. “It’s like we live in a bubble. With respect to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It’s unfathomable.
"With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9% of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn an obscene amount. The barometer we use for measuring our salaries is comparing them to those of our team-mates and what other players are earning elsewhere.
"I live in a bubble. Real life is the one my friends live. They’ve had to look for work, sign on to the dole and emigrate. That’s normal life now. My life as a footballer is not normal.
"It scares me sometimes to think about just how protected I am. The smallest problem and someone will come and fix it for me. That’s one of the aspects in which we don’t live a normal life".
Read Mata’s words and you get the impression that he wishes he didn’t earn as much as £140,000-a-week, his rumoured wages at United.
To be a footballer these days is to be a celebrity, and the Spaniard probably finds it difficult these days to find privacy.
Mata also had a word for those who complain about football’s rising costs. From merchandise to season tickets, it’s becoming increasingly harder for fans to attend games.
Owners vs fans debate
The former Chelsea man continued: “I can understand what they’re talking about. The business side of football makes it seem as though the owners are now more important than the fans.
"It’s not like the football of old; there wasn’t as much press coverage before or as many interested parties looking for their cut."
Can we just instate Mata as the president of FIFA now, please?
For a refreshing take on life as a footballer, it’s well worth reading Mata’s blog.
Does a cap need to be introduced to limit players' wages? Let us know in the comments section below!