It’s five years to the day that Juan Mata made his Manchester United debut.
United signed the Spaniard from Chelsea for £37 million back in January 2014 and the playmaker has gone on to play more than 200 times for the Red Devils, scoring 44 goals.
Like every Monday, Mata uploaded his personal blog which happened to fall on the fifth anniversary of his debut for the club.
So, he began his blog with a little thank you.
“Today I want to start off my post by saying thank you,” Mata wrote.
“Honestly, thank you to everyone who has remembered that recently it was five years since I arrived at Manchester United. On this exact Monday, as my blog goes up, it is the anniversary of my first game as a Red Devil and it is a date that brings back great memories for me: Old Trafford, the kindness shown by everyone, going from the tunnel onto the pitch, the win…”
While that match was memorable for Mata, it was also memorable for a certain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford as Cardiff City manager that day but couldn’t avoid a 2-0 defeat as the Welsh side went on to get relegated from the top-flight.
And Mata still remembers what the Norwegian had to say to him in the tunnel before kick-off.
“What plenty of you don’t remember is that on that day our current manager was there too… although he was on the opposing bench!” Mata said, referring to Solskjaer.
“I remember his words in the tunnel before I headed out onto the pitch: ‘Welcome to this fantastic club, Juan, it is incredible, you’ll see. Enjoy it as much as you can and good luck.’ Five years later, we’re both still here.”
Little did Solskjaer know that he’d be the manager of United five years later as Mata celebrated his anniversary.
Whether or not Mata will be around to celebrate his sixth year at Old Trafford remains to be seen.
The 30-year-old’s contract expires in the summer and he’s yet to sign an extension on his current deal.