mEats… Juan Mata


– You must get a lot of
compliments about your eyes. – This is getting romantic now. This is getting a bit romantic. – Could we get some candles and some music? – Juan Mata, nice to meet you. How’s it going? – Bienvenidos – Oh, cómo estás? – Good, and you? That’s all your Spanish? – Er, I can say… Yeah, that’s it. – Una cerveza por favor? One beer, please. – Oh, si, si. Gracias. – I can understand it quite well. – Can you? – A little bit, but I
can’t really speak it. It’s my accent. My accent is too strong. – Is it? Where are you from? – I am from Oldham,
which is just outside – – Yeah, I know. – Just outside Manchester,
my accent’s too strong, that’s my excuse. – Yeah, but it’s not a good excuse. – It’s a terrible excuse.
– Yeah, it’s a terrible excuse. – It’s a lazy man. – Let’s try to teach you a few words before you leave this restaurant today. – There’s a connection
here, there’s a reason why we’re in Tapeo & Wine. – Yeah, it’s my dad’s restaurant. – Your dad’s restaurant? – Yeah, so we are here in Tapeo & Wine 209 Deansgate. I think over one year ago, he thought about opening the place,
in Manchester, and here we are. – Your dad was a footballer? – Yeah, he used to play
football in Spain, yeah. – Was it Oviedo? – He played for Oviedo,
Burgos, Salamanca, Cartagena; so, a few teams in Spain. He was a professional football player, and then after football,
he’s an agent now. He’s got a few businesses like this one, so he’s a busy guy. You know, it’s nice to have this place so they can come, relax. Spanish culture is quite relaxed, chilled, and we take it easy, let’s say. That’s the way to behave here. You can come and have
lunch later than normal, dinner earlier or later than normal. We Spanish tend to do everything
later than in England, like lunch, or we have merienda,
between lunch and dinner. – A what?
– Merienda. – Is that a bit like brunch,
but in the afternoon? – That’s right, yeah. And then dinner, normally
later than in England, so it’s quite a relaxed
place, and it’s nice for me to come here and relax. – What sort of things
do you specialise in here? – It’s all from Spain,
and it’s all made here, so it’s nothing artificial
or frozen or anything. It’s artisan food. I love the ham that you’re gonna try now. You know how to cut it? It’s difficult, eh?
– I’ve never tried. – It’s like a proper art to do it. – To to get it so thin. – We have a very good
guy that does it here. We bring the meat from
Asturias, where I’m from, north of Spain; all the
meat comes from there. The steak is very, very nice. And we have wine as well. – Thank you.
– You’re welcome. – You like Rioja Tinto? – Yeah, I’m a big fan. Big fan of rioja. What are we on here? – It’s a red rioja. – Cheers. – Cheers, to start with. You can, yeah, just taste it. It’s red, right? – It is red, yeah. You getting that on camera? – I like the finger thing you do. – I’m a classy man.
– I know. I can see. I can see. – It’s nice, very nice.
– You like it? – Very nice. I’m quite a fan of the Kalimotxo. That’s one of my favourite– – I brought this to go with
a glass of rioja and Iberico ham, yeah? Iberico hams and pan con tomate. – Excellent.
– Enjoy. – So, you like Kalimotxo? – I am a big, big fan of Kalimotxo. – I can see you, with Kalimotxo. Explain what Kalimotxo is. – So, yeah, Kalimotxo,
for anyone watching, is red wine with Coca-Cola. Yeah? Am I correct? – It’s red wine with a
mix of Coca-Cola, yeah. – Full-fat, proper
Coca-Cola, and I love it. – Normally, it’s bad red
wine, you know– – Like the stuff you get
from a carton. – Yeah. – Yeah, from a brick. – Like a fizzy sangria. – Yeah, yeah. You could say that. – Charity seems to be something
that’s quite close to you, and that you’ve got a lot of passion for. – Well, yes, because I think as a professional footballer, I’m in a privileged position. I do what I love, and I
consider myself very lucky, and I think there’s
many people in the world that are not as lucky. Through football, we have a big platform, and football is followed everywhere. I think the power that football has to unite that force for good is unique, so through Common Goal,
we are trying to do that. – Excellent. If you go to a favela in Brazil,
or you go to somewhere in India or whatever,
they’re all playing footy, they’re all messing about
with a ball in some way. – I was in India last summer, visiting one of the organisations that work with Common Goal in Mumbai, and you could see the kids
playing football everywhere, and they were happy playing football, and they were forgetting about
their own problems in life. Football and cricket, because
cricket is massive in India. – Ah, they do love cricket in India. – But it was nice to
see, firsthand what they do in the organisations
that we collaborate with, and it’s a nice thing to do,
the Common Goal movement, and to try to bring the
professional football world to football as a social tool for change. – If someone wasn’t to
know what Common Goal was, how would you explain it? – It’s a movement created from us, from professional football
players, in which we go together and pledge at least 1%
of our year’s salary that goes into a global
fund, and from this fund, we donate the money to
organisations around the world. This sounds difficult
in the way to do it, but it’s very easy, because
me as a part of Common Goal, or whoever wants to contribute, you choose where the money goes. Because you are from Spain and we work with an organisation in Spain, maybe you want do it in Spain, or you prefer to do it
for an organisation where they support equality
gender, or education, or healthcare, so you can
choose, let’s say, bespoke where your donation goes. You can follow it, you can travel and visit the organisation. – So you have more
control over it yourself. – You can donate and
that’s it, but for me, the ideal thing is to give money, but to be on top of what’s
going on, to feel part of that, to go and actually
visit the organisations, and what we’re trying to create is the biggest football club. It doesn’t matter
where you’re from, it doesn’t matter what
team you play for, it doesn’t matter what
team you support, but everyone is together
for the same reason, which is to give back
and to make this world a bit more equal. That’s the idea behind Common Goal. It started a few months
ago and it’s growing a lot, so I’m very happy that from
football, we are doing that, because I think it was
needed, and it’s fair. – Are you the ambassador now? – Well, I was the first one that started. Obviously, I met Jurgen,
which is the guy that founded it with me,
and we started speaking about starting something that
has never been done before, that can bring globality
to the movement, and we can speak with players,
and we can speak with clubs, and the leagues, and
federations, and we are doing so. So, yeah, I’m the one that started it all, but now there are over
40 of us , and this year, it was the
first round of allocations to the organisations
which was approximately 1/2 million Euros. To be the first year and the
first amount it’s quite good, so in the coming years,
it will be more and more, and it’s not just the money, it’s just about a way
of thinking collectively about how football can
be a force for good, and can be used like
that, and I think it’s, I don’t know, just to make people reflect how privileged we are, and
how, by a little of our life, we can make so many
people happy, and better. – Brilliant, excellent. And you said you went to India. – I went to India, yeah. – What did you think? – Well, you know, it
was a massive contrast. You could see the most luxurious hotels and things in the world… And next door, it was the
poorest place ever, So it was a mix of sadness, and
thinking how can this happen in this world, but it was hope as well, to see what OSCAR Foundation is doing, and to see the kids, how they welcome us, how they play football,
how they were happy with our presence there. I think it’s important not
just to do a sporadic thing, like you visit and do; it’s fine, it’s good to be there and know, but what is more important
is to make people be owners of their own future. So, it’s not about creating
dependency between India and England, or India and Spain,
or this kind of connection where you donate money
and they rely on that, no. It’s to make them develop themselves, so they can have decision, they can have a critical education, they
can have their own opinion, and that’s– – Freedom. – Freedom, autonomy. That’s the ideal thing to do. Yeah, that was the mix
of emotions in India. We took some photos as
well, my girlfriend and me, and we did an exhibition in
the National Football Museum. And we auctioned the
photos, and we put some around the restaurant as well. So, it was a nice experience to do, and especially to bring awareness
of what Common Goal was. – “Vale.” Is that like, “Okay?” – “Alright.” Yeah. You see? Vale. One word that you’ve learnt now. – I think I knew that one. It was hard in Barcelona, ’cause
it was the Catalan as well, knocking around, and I sort
of got a bit confused. There’s another excuse. – You have many excuses. – I’ve got loads of excuses. I’m full of excuses, that’s pretty much… – For everything? For everything he has excuses? – Well, there’s always
an excuse, isn’t there? I did wanna ask, actually,
what you thought of… Here we go. What you think of English food? – English foods? – This is Spanish… no one can say a bad
word about Spanish food. I don’t think. – No. You can’t. – If they do, they’ll
have you to answer to and me as well, ’cause Spanish food– – You mean that a lot of people speak bad about English food? – Well, I mean, I– – You know what I like? Pie. – Oh, oh, yeah. – And you know, when we play Saturdays and we have the Sunday off, or we train but then we have the afternoon off, I normally go to English country pubs. I live around Bowden, Hale, so
we go to Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Prestbury; there’s a lot of
English countryside pubs, and I love it. I love the ale and steak pie. – Proper, hearty, Sunday,
when it snows outside– – When you have your homemade food. – Yeah, brilliant. Can’t beat that. – So, I cannot complain
about English food. – That’s good, that’s good. – Fish and chips, don’t really– – Ah, it’s just… But pie, I like. It depends on where you live as well, because I was living
in London and you have a massive offering of restaurants. Manchester is growing a lot and I think you will
know more than me, but there’s many new
restaurants opening now, and I think the Manchester
food scene is growing, and then next year,
it will be even better. I like to go to different
places, like you do, and to try different
restaurants around Manchester, so it’s great. – As a footballer, the cliche
of a footballer, in my mind, is someone who will be
popping bottles in Panacea, or eating some chicken wings at Wings, having a bit of Chinese, but you’re not like that, are you? – Well… – We have fried broken
eggs with ham: huevos rotos. Juan will show you how to
eat them, yeah? – Yeah. – And then the croquettes, Iberico ham and white mushroom. – Gracias. – Enjoy, de nada. – So, yeah, you eat this like this. What were we talking about? – We were talking about my… – Image of football players, right? – The fact that you’re not like that. You’re into your food, you’re
into checking out new places, Northern Quarter… that kinda scene. – Yeah, well, I mean, I’ve
been to Wings and to Panacea, a long time ago. – And what did you think? – Fine, yeah. So, every place has its things, right? – Correct. – But yeah, I love the Northern Quarter. If I have a day off,
as I said, either I go to an English countryside pub,
or I go to Northern Quarter. The atmosphere there and the people, there’s a lot of things going on. – Where are your favourite places? Where do you like heading to? – Well, I like coffee, a lot, so I go to Federal, Foundation, Evelyn’s, Ezra and Gil I’ve been in Matt and
Phreds a lot with live music. – Matt and Phreds on a Tuesday
night, on a Wednesday night. – They have jazz, and it’s a nice place. Stevenson Square, they have a few bars. I think it’s called Corner Cocktail Bar, or something like that. – There’s West Corner and then there’s the bit downstairs. – I’ve been in Afflecks a lot. – Oh yeah, what, buying some
black t-shirts, some band gear? Getting some eyeliner? – Yeah, all of that. It’s a nice place to go. – It’s an exciting place, isn’t it? There’s a lot of stuff going on. The thing that I like about
Manchester at the moment is there’s a lot of
competition, and you have to, I mean I suppose you feel the same here, you’ve gotta up your
game in order to survive. – That’s key. Because as you say, there’s
many places opening, many places doing great things, so it’s what you have
to do if you want people to feel like they want
go to your restaurant. Well, more restaurants come to
my mind in Northern Quarter: Cottonopolis– – Oh, big fan of Cottonopolis, me. It’s our local. On a Friday, we’ll go– – You go the Mexican one as well? El Capo? – El Capo, oh yeah. Big El Capo guy. – There’s a coffee place
down the road called Takk. – Yeah, Takk. There’s a new Takk on Hatch. – Is there? – You know Oxford Road?
– Yeah. – They’ve got containers,
shipping containers, underneath–
– So they made one there? – Yeah, there’s a Takk there, and there’s a little beer place, and some street-food
things, but they’re good. – I forgot to tell you, probably, my favourite coffee place in Manchester, but it’s not in the Northern Quarter. – Go on. – They have one here, they
have one in Media City, and they have one by
Deansgate: Grindsmith. – Grindsmith’s – Yeah, very good.
– Yeah? – They’re just down the road here. I’m not a morning person, so I need it. – Are you proper grumpy? – In the morning, yeah. – Girlfriend has to just– – She wakes up earlier
than me and she leaves– – And just goes? – Yeah. I’ve got to train myself
to wake up earlier in order to train good
and not be sleepy, so I’ve been good with
that, thanks to coffee. – Sort of perks you up? – Now, when we train in the afternoon, I feel better.
– Hello again. – Hi. – You know what that is?
– I know what that is. – What is it? – Tortilla– Espana tortilla. – Tortilla espanola. – Tortilla?
– Espanola. – Espanola. Tortilla espayinoyiola. Tortilla espanola. – Say it again? How do you say? – Tortilla espanola. – Perfect. In here, there is options
for vegetarian and vegan, and gluten-free. – The vegan thing’s
quite a big thing, innit? – Now, yeah. I think nowadays, everyone
is starting to realise how important it is to eat good, and how important food
is to your health. It’s a kind of trend, I
think it’s in two ways. One is the social media trend, where most people try to
pretend to look perfect and all this ‘how good is my life’ thing. Jogging, and doing exercise,
and all these things, and showing how fit you are. – I’ll spend five minutes in the gym– – And then I put gym time! Exactly. – “I’ve been here for two hours, “I’m so sweaty.” – But, there is a good
thing about it, which is they’re all trends that
are good for the body, like doing exercise,
jogging, it’s all healthy for your body, so that’s
the positive thing. That’s why I think there are
many more people being vegan or vegetarian now, which
I really understand. – At the moment, where’s
your favourite place? Where have you been going to, where do you find yourself going to? – You mean apart from here, right? – Apart from Tapeo, obviously. You can’t be in here all the time. – You know, I like, just
because I’m close by, I walk to Altrincham. So, Altrincham Market, and– – Altrincham’s Market is
brilliant, innit? Have you got a dog? – Yeah, I do. A big one. – Can you take big ones inside? – Yeah. She behaves good. – You can’t go into Altrincham Market without a dog, can you? Either a dog or a child. – That’s true, there’s so
many people with babies there. – That’s pretty much it. – The food is good,
the atmosphere is good. They have this new one, Mackie
Mayor, by Northern Quarter. – You’ve been in there? – Yeah, I’ve been in there also. Chorlton, Didsbury, and
then, yeah, the ones we said in Northern Quarter or Central Manchester, but yeah, Altrincham is
growing a lot as well. – Outside of the city centre,
you’ve got Levenshulme, you’ve got Urmston,
and all of these places which are just getting better and better– – And trendier, and many
more people going. A lot of young people, you know? There’s a lot of people living there, and yeah, Chorlton, Didsbury, we spoke before about Volta. There’s a Spanish nice one, Bar San Juan. You’ve been? – Bar San Juan – It’s nice as well. – I’ve heard a lot of good
things about Bar San Juan. – Yeah. – Right, do you ever cook at home? – We do at home. I’m terrible, I’m very bad at cooking. – See, I was gonna ask if
you have a signature dish. You know what I mean? – Salad. I’m very good at salad and pasta. – Bag of salad, a bit of pasta. – Boiling pasta and that’s it. I’m very rubbish at cooking, but we’re trying a bit more now. We have the time to do it,
so it’s fine, it’s alright. She does all the difficult
stuff, and I do the, “Okay, what do I have
to do for this recipe?” “Boiling the pasta?” “Frying the thing or making the salad?” I’ll say, “Yeah, I’ll do that.” – “Put the knife on that side
and the fork on that side.” – That also, yeah. – “Light the candle; perfect.”
– That also, yeah. – One of those things,
everyone’s got a signature dish, you’re trying to impress
a lady, you’re like– – I don’t. – Yours would just be–
– I don’t. – Just my conversation, right? – That’s what you’re
impressing ladies with. – Yeah, my eyes. – Yeah, exactly.
– My eyes. – You must get a lot of
compliments about your eyes. – This is getting romantic now. – This is getting a bit romantic now. – Could we get some candles and some music? I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that you’re a footballer. Which you are.
– Am I? – I’ve got to talk about
football at some point. – You don’t like football? – Well, it’s not that I don’t like it, I’m just not really into it. – Following it. – Yeah; as a kid, I was big into United, my dad was a United fan,
my sister is a United fan, and it was that: Cantona,
Paul Parker, Denis Irwin, they’re the three biggest favourites. Andrei Kanchelskis, Peter Schmeichel, all that kinda stuff
is what I grew up with in my house with my dad and my sister. But yeah, I’ve never really followed it. – You’ve never been in Old Trafford? – I’ve been in quite a
few times actually. The atmosphere’s always pretty good. But I’ve never really
sort of been into it, so these questions might
be absolutely ridiculous– – Okay, let’s see how they sound. – But I’m sure you’ll be fine.
– Let’s see. – You’ve won a lot, you’ve won more awards than Meryl Streep. You’ve won pretty much–
– I don’t think so. – I think you probably have. You’ve won the World Cup, European Championships,
you’ve won the Euros, you’ve won Champions League, FA Cup. Have you won the Premiership? – No. – Oh. – That’s the one. – Is that the final– – Yeah; Europa League as well. – Europa League. – The Cup League, but
never the Premier League. You know, you cannot be perfect, but maybe one day, it will be. – I mean, to be fair,
winning the World Cup, is that not the pinnacle of what you can– – Yeah. – Is that like winning an Oscar? – Well, you are very good at acting, so maybe you can feel
one day what we felt when we won the World Cup. But as a football player,
it’s the biggest thing you can win, and we did it the first time for our country, for Spain, so
it was an unbelievable feeling, and when we speak about
it, I still get goosebumps, and I remember that day. Not just the day when we won,
but the day when we arrived to Spain, to Madrid, and
everyone was in the streets. – Everyone went absolutely crazy. – We did a parade, and
it was a fantastic day, so it was the best thing you
can win as a football player. Thank you. Gracias. One of the biggest days,
and the most important days in your professional career. – 2010? – Yeah, South Africa. – Yeah. Little story here for you. I used to, ooh, here we go. – Sea bass with pisto
and sofrito. – Fantastic, thank you.
– Enjoy. – Thank you.
– Look at that. – You ready for that? You know what it’s called in Spain? – Go on. – Lubina. – My pronunciation’s
getting better every second. – What was the Spanish word for alright? – Vale.
– Okay. Good. Vale.
– Vale. – We just do half and then you take this
half and I take that one. Yeah. – Give it a rip up. Yeah, so, 2010, I was running a language school in Blackpool. That’s what I used to
do before I did this, and 90% of our students were Spanish. So they were– – Do you remember the celebrations? – They were 14 / 15-year-olds, and they had a curfew, they
had to be in bed at 11 o’clock, and that night that you
won the World Cup, it was probably one of your
best nights of your life, it was probably one of the worst of mine. – For you? – These Spanish students
went absolutely crazy. – They wouldn’t stop. – Yeah. As you can expect, they
brought the whole place to a standstill. – It was the first time that
Spain won the World Cup, ever, so everyone in Spain went
crazy, but every Spanish person that were outside of Spain went crazy. – Everyone went absolutely mental. – At that time I was living in Valencia, but I remember seeing images
of London, Piccadilly Circus, and thousands of Spanish
people celebrating. It was an historical moment for us. Do you like the sea bass? – Yeah, it’s excellent. I’m usually not a fish
kinda guy, but this is– – Yeah, it’s fresh, you know? Every fish here is fresh. – The chilli– – With salt and garlic. This time it’s garlic. – Fantastic. I did read that you did
a lot of backpacking when you were a young lad, around Spain. Well, around Spain, yes, and
around Europe with my friends, sometimes as well. We used to try to always
get a few days together. We went to Cadiz in Spain, went to Greece, to different islands. That was one of the only things that, you know when you are 16 /
17, and you play football, you cannot do what your friends do. You have one month to go
together, and they go out and they party and they
visit places and things, and I was probably doing pre-season. That’s one of the few things
that it takes to become a professional footballer,
you know what I mean? But I was very happy playing football, so I didn’t care at the time,
but now, thinking about it, I miss sometimes, when
they speak about their stories, I was not there. But we used to travel together, and it was a great time, fun times, yeah. – If you could play against anybody, ever, who’s ever played, or with
anybody who’s ever played, who would it be? – It would be good to have played with Maradona, for example. Left-footed guy, quality, you know? Trying to play one-twos,
pick up his passes and scoring goals. – Maradona was insane. – Insane. Have you watched him? – Oh yeah.
– Live? No. – No, I’ve not watched
him live, but he– – Yeah, Maradona, for example. He was incredible. I played with Ryan Giggs,
which was a dream for me. I think I was two years
old and he was already in the first team of Manchester United. – He was having his 10-year testimonial when you were still in nappies, probably. Giggsy, yeah, played for years. – So, I’ve played with him in
the last part of his career when he became manager. – Did you not get a chance
to play with Scholesy? – No, no. I played with Rio Ferdinand,
with Frank Lampard, with John Terry. – What about Cantona? – I would have loved to play with him. – Growing up, Cantona was
the greatest thing ever. – I know, and I heard stories about him, and I would love to have
a coffee with him here. So, one day in the
restaurant, maybe he comes and we can have a coffee. – Cantona, if you’re watching mate– – Eric, please. Come to Tapeo.
– Get involved. I don’t have to be
here, I won’t be here, don’t worry about that. You don’t have to chat shit with me. But yeah, Cantona, what a legend. – It would be amazing
to play with him, yeah. I think he changed the club,
and the club changed him as well, so it was a perfect fit. – It’s like, right time– – Right moment, right person.
– Everything about it, yeah. – And you hear stories from
people working at the club and even players that played with him. He was a character, he
was a real character, and he had the quality and the touch; he was a magician, so probably
he will be, with Maradona, one of the ones that I would
love to have played with, yeah. For sure. There are more. We could speak about
Ronaldinho in Barcelona. – Ronaldinho. Bloody hell yeah. – Fantastic football player. Proper magician; we can
speak about Zidane in Madrid. He made things look very easy, it would be easy to play with him. – So who were your favourites
when you were growing up? Who were your idols apart
from your dad, obviously? – Yeah, but I never had an idol. I used to watch videos of Maradona because Maradona was my dad’s idol, but after that, Zidane, Ronaldinho; there was an Argentinian
player called Pablo Aimar who used to play for Valencia. Fantastic; small guy, fantastic player. Guti, who used to play for Real Madrid; left-footed, quality. Ryan Giggs. I’m left-footed, so I
tried always to look– – But I’ve never been an idols guy, but I always had players
that I enjoyed watching. – My friend Johnny
wanted to know, whether you’ve got a
special handshake with Jesse Lingard. Is that a thing? – No.
– No? – I’m sorry to be boring in that sense. – No, that’s alright. – When I see this, and
they do a lot of things, or whatever it is– – We could try.
– Or you can do… – That one.
– Okay. – You know what I do in the morning? – Go on. That’s a good one. – Is that boring, right? – No, that’s alright. – I think some of my teammates have personalised handshakes. – If I see you like
this, I do something, if I see Ander, I do different, if I see Luke Shaw, I do different. – Like that. – Yeah, so it would be like
this, this, and that’s it. But to answer your
question, I don’t have– – You don’t have one? – No, I have the normal
one, like, “Good morning,” because I’m still sleepy,
so I just, “Good morning.” – You’re still a bit grumpy. Johnny will be happy now,
I’ve asked that question. – Hi, John. – I’ve read your blog, Juan.
– Okay. Every Monday? – Well, I don’t read it religiously, but I do read it here and
there, I’ve had a read of it, and I’m impressed. Very impressed. – Thank you. – Your writing’s excellent. – Thank you. – Probably better than mine. Is that something you enjoy? – It depends. I normally enjoy it, because it’s nice to have this kind of connection with fans, and tell them how you live the game, or what did I like about
Manchester two days ago, or, just, I don’t know,
what I feel at that moment. Sometimes it’s difficult,
when you lose a game and you don’t feel like doing anything, and you know you have to do it because you don’t wanna be,
okay, if I lose I don’t do it, and if I win, I do it happily; no. If you commit to something,
you should do it all the time. So, when we lose, it’s
not the ideal thing to do, but I still do it, and
I think fans like it, and people that like football like it. Even people that don’t like
football, they like to see how a football player communicates, and whatever he has to say. – It breaks down that
barrier between the fan and player, I think, very much. – You know what? It might sound cliche, but
it’s a fact, and it’s true: football players and
football without fans, it wouldn’t be the same. I don’t understand that kind of wanting to separate both worlds. Why? Because without them, we wouldn’t– – It wouldn’t exist. – No. So I don’t understand
that kind of– Obviously, there has to be privacy in terms of how you prepare the games, what are you gonna do, the
tactics, and all these things, but to keep football players
very far from football fans, I don’t see the point. – No, I agree, yeah. ‘Cause it’s all about the
fans, really, isn’t it? – I think so, yeah. – But, what I’ve done,
because I’m impressed with your writing, I’ve printed off a Manchester’s Finest contributor pack. – Oh, okay. – So, if you wanna do some writing for Manchester’s Finest, you get 25 quid. Give it a read; if you wanna
do some writing, get in touch. – Okay.
– I’m very impressed. – Thank you for that.
– It’s good stuff; yeah, no worries. You get an idea of
our tone of voice. – With what we’ve been talking about, I think it’s good enough,
and it’s very good. – Really?
– Yeah. – Oh, thank you very much. – Yeah, not personally you,
but Manchester’s Finest. – But it is me, but it is… You know, these guys,
they’ll be saying, oh, yeah, they’re Manchester’s Finest; it’s me. – Okay, so it’s you? Are you the one that designed the style and the content and everything? – I do the content, not the style. I’m not a very stylish man. – What I like is the style, to be honest. – Oh, there we go, then. It’s them boys, chat to them boys. So, Juan, when you’re not playing football or training, running however
many miles you run everyday, what do you like to do?
– Many many. – Yeah. What do you like to do to relax? What’s your Radox? – One of the things that I
love the most is, as I said, going to the city and
going to different places. If not, yeah, cinema. Movies, series. – You looking forward to
the new Avengers movie? – No. Don’t really like that kind of movie, no. – What kinda stuff? Arthouse? Ooh. All foreign-language kinda stuff? – Yeah. – Spanish? – No, but I’m not really into sci-fi. My girlfriend is, she loves all that. I’m more into, I don’t know, real stories. – Have you ever seen Escape To Victory? – From? – It’s set in the Second World
War, it’s a football movie– – Oh yeah, Pele. – Pele– – Yeah yeah, in Spanish, it’s
Evasion O Victoria – Evasion
– O Victoria They play against the prison, and he scores the scissor kick, yeah yeah. – That’s a good movie, innit? – Yeah, it’s a good one, yeah. – There’s actually a Spanish
Latin-American festival at HOME coming up. – Yeah, HOME is a good
place, and I go sometimes and I have a good connection
with the guys, but the venue is good, HOME. – Oh yeah, it’s fantastic. – They have a restaurant,
they have a gallery, they have cinema. It’s new, right? It’s not very old. – Yeah, very new, it’s a couple years old. – You know, in Manchester,
there are some places like this. The library, John Rylands Library. – John Rylands, yeah;
good building, that. Such a nice building. – Everyone that comes to
Manchester and visits me, I always send them to John Rylands. So, yeah, that’s what I
do: go to different places and enjoy movies, enjoy some galleries, enjoy coffee, enjoy restaurants, enjoy life, which is not bad. – When you’re out and
about, do you have to wear a little disguise so that people– – No, it’s alright. People are good in Manchester. – That reminds me, actually, I’d like your autograph, please. – Where, on the hand? As one of the tattoos? Can you tattoo it, please? – Yeah, you could do that. My sister’s just had a kid,
she’s just had a child, and as I’ve said before, my
sister’s a big United fan, she’s a big fan of you, and
she’s gonna bring the child up to be a United Fan. He’s called Alfie. – Alfie?
– Alfie, please. – Okay. So, to Alfie, a new big United fan, right? Okay.
– Perfect, yeah. – Can you give me one of yours, please? – You want one of mine?
– Yes, please. – Yeah, of course you can. – To Juan. – To Juan? Is that your name?
Right, okay. Do you want some sort
of personalised message? – Up to you. – Dearest Juan,
it’s been a pleasure. “Sorry about the breath.” – Thank you. Cheers to you again. Cheers. – And I’ll definitely be back to Tapeo. – We have to finish the
dessert, by the way. – Oh yeah… So the dessert, we asked for arryo– – Arroz con leche. – That’s from your end of town, innit? – Yeah. You had it in Barcelona? – I’ve had it before,
I have had it before. A lot of times, you’re choosing dessert, and people go for ice cream,
or they’ll go for some sort of cake or something;
I go for– – Arroz con leche? It’s like rice pudding, yeah. – I get the mick taken out of me a lot. – And we have another one,
which is called crema catalana, which I’m sure you had in
Barcelona, it’s like… How do you call it in English? How you call in English
this dessert which is like a caramel crisp on top? Creme brulee.
– Oh, creme brulee. Yeah, yeah. – So, a kind of creme
brulee is crema catalana. – When you finish the football,
what would you like to do? What would your ideal
place be to go, would it be management, would
be doing something like this where you’re owning restaurants
and running restaurants, or what sort of… – I have no idea. I think some moments, I feel like, yeah, doing something in football. I don’t know if a manager. Used to say no, always, to a manager, but now, when I’m getting older and I think I understand
the game better, and I know more of my teammates or the way that the manager
motivates us and things, I like it, so maybe. On the other hand, I think about, okay, I’ve been playing
football for all my life, so I want to do something different. I don’t know what and I don’t know how, but I love traveling, I love, for example,
being in football still but maybe in the Common Goal side, which is not professional football but football as a social
tool for change, so definitely, I’ll be
doing Common Goal after football, so I have a few
ideas of how to keep going after I stop playing. Maybe in a band, no? – Could be a band, yeah. – That’s a dream.
– Yeah? What would you play? – Not singing. – No? You can’t sing? – No. Bad. – How about, I can sing? I’m a dead good singer. – So, we have half of a
band, which is singer– – I don’t know what you’re doing? – Guitar or–
– Are you Bez? – No, guitar or piano, whatever. – Okay. You could do both. – Difficult. – Right, you can be the Elton
John, you can be the piano. – Okay. – Right, and then I’ll do the singing. – Do we need a guitarist? – Yeah. – I have the drums, which is De Gea. David de Gea, he used to play drums. – And then, Cantona,
Cantona can play the guitar. – I think so. – I’m sure he can. But I’m the odd one out,
’cause you need a footballer. – No, but you are the star,
you are the singer one, so you’re the face. – I’ll be the face. I’ll be the voice of it, yeah. – So maybe we could do that. – Go touring around the world, then you can do your charity
stuff around there as well, when we’re in, you know. – It sounds good. I’m gonna write it down. – Yeah, good. – I would love to travel without
rush, you know what I mean? So you go one month here, one month there, one continent you travel. – How you feel, wherever you want to go, – Just to have different
experiences in life, so I don’t know if I’ll
be able to have them. – Where would you go? If you could go anywhere? – I don’t know much of Latin America, so I’ll start where you
started, where you’re the boss, in Latin America. So, all Columbia, Chile,
Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, I would love to go. I would love to go to Australia, I would love to go to Africa more, I’ve been to Japan, which I love. – You like Japan, yeah? – Yeah, Japan is fantastic. – It’s weird, isn’t it, Japan though? – It’s like a different
world, but I really love it. I mean, there are endless places to go, so maybe I’ll do that for some time. Maybe, thinking about it
now, I will do something about food: blogging,
commenting, reporting, creating a food brand. Something stylish and with
good content, you know? – Work for Manchester’s Finest. Give us a shout. If the football thing doesn’t take off, send me an email– – Maybe I’ll call you. – Yeah, give us a shout.
– Let me play a few years. – You’re more than welcome. I’ve seen your writing. Get involved. You can take my job if
you want, that’s fine. You have my job and I’ll go back
to Columbia and chill out, – I’m not sure you can do that. – I’ll get on the beach. – I’ll take the Columbia one, then. – No one knows what they
wanna do with their life. You don’t really think about– – Did you want to do
what you’re doing now? – No. No. It’s quite rare to find
people who do end up doing what they’ve always
wanted to do, isn’t it? – I mean, I’ve been doing it. – When did you start playing footy? – I was three or four years old. – But that’s such a fantastic story. You wanted it and you got
it, and now you’re here, and you’re living the life. – You know what? That’s one of the best
things about football. I think football normally
has such bad press, because of the money that
is involved in football and whatever it is, but I think football gives the opportunity to anyone that wants to be a football
player and is good enough. To become a big football
player, it doesn’t matter where you come from, so
that’s kind of good, you know? It doesn’t matter what
country you come from, it doesn’t matter your past, your wealth. If you’re good, you can
become the next big player. – But wasn’t Pele,
didn’t he use to practice with a tangerine? – Yeah, Maradona. – And that is about the
skill, and it’s about talent. – And not all jobs, or not all sports, or not everything in life
allows you to do that, allows you to do that.
– Exactly. Look at this. Lovely stuff Thank you. – Enjoy. – Right, so what we on here? – We have the rice pudding. – Arroz con leche. – Arroz con leche; we
have the crema catalana, creme-brulee crema catalana,
we have some brownie, and strawberry ice cream. But you wanted this one, I think. – Oh yeah, yeah. – I used to have this in school a lot. – Was this school dinners? – School dessert, yeah. – See, we had rice pudding as well, but it used to have the
dinner lady’s hair in it. And bits of toenail and stuff like that. – That wasn’t tasty or what? – I got used to it. – That’s crema catalana. – It’s lighter than a creme brulee. Nice. – It has caramel stuff on top. – Very good. I’ll have some more of this. – So, when it came to your
football when you were a kid, what did you do to become
as good as you are? Did you buy Ryan Giggs’s video? – Try to repeat what he did? – Ryan Giggs’s Soccer Skills? Did you have, do you remember those things that you used to attach to your belt, and it was like a string,
and it had a ball on the end? – No? – Did you have one of those, and you used to just do kick-ups? – Ah, all the time, the
ball goes and comes. – And it come back. Did you have one of them?
– No. – No? – But I used to play against a wall. So I used to shoot, and
obviously, the ball rebound, and you do free kicks, and
penalties, and things like this. – Just to practice
over and over again? – Practice the contact. But realizing that I was
getting better and better and better, until a point
that I became professional, because my dream, it was to
become a professional footballer, that’s it. Not playing for a club
like Manchester United, which is far more the expectations
I had when I was a kid, so it has been much better
than I have expected. My dream was to become a
professional, like my dad. – You’re there. – You start playing in the
school with your friends, you then go to a team, then you get picked for the national team, then
you get signed for Real Madrid, and it keeps getting better and better, and that is the way. – When you were in school,
and everyone was lined up, were you always the first to get picked? – I used to–
– You were, weren’t you? You were, weren’t you? – No no, I used to be
picked from the old guys, which means that they wanted
to have me in their team, which means that I played good. – That’s good. – ‘Cause my sister is
two years older than me, and the guys that used
to be with her in school, they used to call me,
“Come and play with us.” – “Come on, yeah, get him down here.” – Then, I realised,
okay, maybe I play good. I’m from Asturias, Oviedo,
and then I moved to Madrid when I was 15, and then, when you move to Real Madrid academy,
you realise, okay, I have to be good, because
they are selecting me and the competition is high. It’s quite a hard job, you know, because from each 1,000 kids, I don’t know how many
become professional, but not many. So you have to be a good player, but you have to have the luck as well. – Disciplined as well?
– Good luck. And discipline, yeah, but
luck is very important. Luck plays a big part on that. Injuries– – Yeah, injuries is a big one. You never have anything serious? – No. – Yeah, now I’ve said that… I’m a very unlucky man.
– But I touched wood. – Right, Juan, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for speaking to us.
– No problem. My pleasure. – Yeah, when’s the next match? – Sunday. – This Sunday?
– Yeah. – All prepared? – Yeah, I am. – Boots all nice and shiny? – Yes. – I’ll take that home. – Take it home, yeah. Put it in tupperware. – Thanks a lot.
– Thank you. – Lovely stuff.
– Thank you.

9 thoughts on “mEats… Juan Mata

  1. Can't stop admiring Mata. He's not only great as a football player, but also as a person. So humble and kind.

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