FILE - Manchester United's Juan Mata. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters
FILE - Manchester United's Juan Mata. Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

Playing in the same team as Juan Mata is surreal, says Daniel James

By Sports Reporter Time of article published May 3, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Mancester United winger Daniel James has revealed he looks up to Juan Mata, and the Spaniard played an important role in helping him settle at his new club.

The 22-year-old Wales international joined the Reds from Swansea at the start of the season and quickly became a fan favourite after a number of eye-catching performances. The move came at a difficult time for James as it was confirmed just days after the sudden death of his father.

“Everyone looks to Lionel Messi, but I think I’ve got to go for Juan Mata. He’s someone that I’ve always looked up to,” James said, according to when asked about his heroes in football.

“I think when I first met him it was just a bit… weird for me. Growing up as a kid looking up to someone then you’re playing with them and not just being great on the pitch, but off the pitch as well. He’s someone that inspires me a lot.

“When I first met him, he came and sat next to me in the changing room and said, ‘I know it’s a big move for you, if you need anything here is my number and if you ever need to talk about anything, I’m here.’ That was obviously great for me,” said the Wales international.

“He is so graceful on the pitch. I remember I got one of his shirts, his Europa League shirt when he won it for Chelsea. And he’s just someone that I’ve always looked up to and to play in the same team as him is just surreal for me.”

IOL Sport

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