Juan Mata-ers

By Adedeji Oluwaferanmi
Last updated : 13 July 2013

Chelsea fans who were scared Juan Mata could be sold can now start to feel a bit silly but relieved at the same time. Juan Mata will be one of the most important Chelsea players for years to come, no doubt! 


Juan Mata is one of the best players in Europe at the moment. He was undoubtedly one of the best performers in Europe last season. Juan Mata's dazzling, consistent and productive displays for Chelsea was rewarded with his inclusion in the Professional Footballers' Association's team of the year; he was also Chelsea's player of the year for the second consecutive season and won Chelsea's players' player of the year award too. 

Many fans argued that Mata deserved more recognition for his consistency in a season where Tottenham's Gareth Bale scooped all major awards in England despite being quiet for most part of the start of the season before springing to life around February. 

Juan Mata has again been overlooked for the European Player of The Year award for 2013. The names on the nominees' list for the European Player of the Year award are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Robin Van Persie, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller. 

It's difficult to argue that any of the players nominated for the  European best footballer award shouldn't be on the list as they were all fantastic last season. Juan Mata wasn't even on the 26-man initial list (Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic made the list). 

The biggest individual accolade any footballer can win, The FIFA Ballon d'Or is still up for grabs. Lionel Messi as usual is considered favourite to win the highly coveted award and players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Arjen Robben have been tipped by the media too. Nobody has mentioned Chelsea's little magician, Juan Mata.

 
 
GAMES STARTED
SUB APPS
GOALS
ASSISTS
SHOTS ON GOAL
AVG. PASSES
KEY PASSES
PASS SUCCESS (%)
CROSSES
JUAN MATA
55
9
20
28
49
49.8
2.86
85.29
1.48
EDEN HAZARD
52
14
14
20
48
42.7
2
83.9
0.6
GARETH BALE
45
0
26
10
92
34.6
2.3
78.4
2
SANTI CAZORLA
47
2
12
13
49
63.13
2.3
86.48
1.2
ANDRES INIESTA
40
8
6
18
20
77.6
1.5
90.9
0.1
MESUT OZIL
42
14
10
20
21
38.7
2.9
84.7
1.3
ARJEN ROBBEN
23
7
13
10
40
30.8
1.8
84.1
1
FRANK RIBERY
38
4
11
18
38
52
2.7
86.8
1.4
MARIO GOTZE
22
3
7
8
21
36.6
2.1
83.5
0.8
An argument like this has to be based on statistics else people dismiss it completely. Juan Mata was the best playmaker in the whole of Europe last season with a very impressive 28 assists for Chelsea, Mesut Ozil and Eden Hazard both registered 20 assists their clubs. 

People may argue that Juan Mata registered more assists than others due to the insane number of matches he played in for Chelsea. Playing many matches also causes fatigue to the player therefore Juan Mata's consistency despite playing that many games. 

As you can see from the statistics, Juan Mata certainly holds his own against the best players being considered. The statistics testifies to the outstanding season Juan Mata had. Juan Mata scored 20 goals for Chelsea last season in all competitions and helped Chelsea win the Europa League and finish third position in the Barclays Premier League. Most strikers will be proud of 20 goals in a single season so Juan Mata can be even more proud especially when an highly-rated player like Andres Iniesta managed just 6 goals.

Being the best playmaker in Europe is good enough reason to be a contender for the World Best Footballer award, scoring an incredible 20 goals from just 49 attempts on goal with that is a better reason. We all know Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo... Juan Mata is definitely up there too with the world's best footballers.
( Stats obtained from ESPN and whoscored)   
 

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