Mata sets medal target

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Football News

Juan Mata has set his sights on making this year the finest of his career, with the Spaniard targeting success in the Champions League, the European Championships and the Olympics to go along with his FA Cup winners medal.


Mata has been Chelsea’s most used outfield player in his debut Premier League campaign, helping the Blues recover from a poor start to the season that ended in Andre Vilas-Boas’ departure to win the FA Cup and secure a showdown in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich this weekend.


Mata is also expected to be part of defending champions Spain's squad for Euro 2012 while the 24-year-old also wants to take part in the Olympic football tournament, which gets underway in July.


"I always had confidence in myself but never expected to do this well in my first season, play a lot of games and to win the FA Cup," he said in the Daily Express.


"We still have to play in the Champions League final, so it could be very special.


"When you are new in a dressing room, in another country, it is important for people to help you; and the players have done that. That's why I had the capacity to adapt quickly.


"It would be an amazing season for me if my teams can win the Champions League, the European Championships and then the Olympics.


"Spain is one of the favourites in all the competitions. We are the holders in Europe and world champions. And we have to defend our title."


While Mata is dreaming of a golden summer, his focus is on the most ‘important’ game of his career – the upcoming Champions League final against Bayern Munich on Saturday.


"I have never reached the Champions League's latter stages before; with Valencia, I only got as far as the round of 16, where we slipped up against Schalke,” the Spaniard explained.


"The Champions League final is the most important game in Europe. Maybe you might play in the final once if you are lucky; so I have to take advantage of this great chance."


Despite their chance to secure Champions League football with victory in the game at the Allianz Arena, Mata admitted it had been a tough season, with Chelsea finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League this season.


"It has been a very difficult year, talking about the Premier League. We did not achieve the position we needed, that we deserved," he said.


"We have to be fighting for the title; yet we finished sixth. So it has not been easy.


"But we have won one title and have the chance to win another, which would make it an amazing season. The league wasn't good, but in the cups we can be happy."

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