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An important game to close the week

20 Oct 2014

Hi everyone,

Today I’m writing to you as we travel to Birmingham on the team bus. As you know we play against West Brom this Monday, so here I am, and I’m going to share with you some of the things that have happened during the week.

I want to tell you how is my last day before playing a game. When we play away from home, and this is the case now, we use to meet up on the eve of the game at Carrington’s training ground. We have our last training session and then we have lunch together -today I shared a table with David and Ander as we followed the scores in European football. We travel in the afternoon. Depending on the destination, sometimes we go by plane, by train, or this time by bus as it takes less than two hours to get to Birmingham.

Upon arrival, we check in at the hotel and have dinner. Once we finish we have different options, such as treatment with the physios, chatting with the team-mates or going straight to the room. In my case, I like to spend some time on my own, just chilling before going to bed. I use to carry my laptop to watch a movie or a TV series. And I also try to get mentally ready for the game, visualising different plays and the way the match could be.

The day before a game I like to sleep a lot so I don’t go to bed very late. Today I’m writing this earlier than usual, because normally I work on the blog after dinner, when all the games are finished. But to me it’s very important to feel rested during the most important moment of the week.

This week has been very good in terms of training; I hope we are able to show that on the pitch. A third consecutive win would be really important. The last two took a lot of effort and I’m sure it will be the same at The Hawthorns. I hope we can make it.

We have had bad news this week with Thiago Alcántara’s injury. We played together with the Spanish under-21 team and won the European Championship in Denmark in 2011. I’m sure he’s going to recover and to play his great football again.

This weekend I have had plenty of time to watch football on TV. I missed Valencia’s game though, since I was travelling with the team, but I followed the match on Twitter and got to know that Deportivo scored in the first half and Valencia tried to tie the game after the break, until they finally conceded a third goal on a counter-attack.

The top three teams of last season keep showing strength. Real Madrid has an amazing scoring average, Barça beat a very good Eibar and they haven’t conceded a goal yet. Interesting stats ahead of the ‘Clásico’, which takes place the next weekend: the team with the best attacking power so far against the only one that remains unbeaten. Meanwhile Atlético won thanks to two header goals, again making the most of strategy plays.

I also watched some German football. I got very happy with Xabi Alonso’s goal (under the wall) and also with Stuttgart and my friend Oriol Romeu being able to tie the game against Leverkusen in just 19 minutes despite being three goals down.

I’m leaving you now, but before that I would like to congratulate Manchester United for having reached 60 million fans on Facebook this weekend, a figure that shows the greatness of the club and the excellent work that is being done by the guys here.

I hope things go well this Monday and we can add up three more points.

Hugs,

Juan Mata

Juan

PS: I don’t want to forget about the International Breast Cancer Day that took place this Sunday. Every day, millions of women fight with courage against this disease. They are an example to all of us.