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Debut with the best national team in the world

27 Mar 2021

Twelve years ago (28 March 2009), Juan Mata made his debut for Spain in a qualifying match for the World Cup in South Africa. He played the final half-hour in the victory against Turkey at the Santiago Bernabéu (1-0). It was his first game with an outstanding team, with which he would win the World Cup and the European Championship.

He was already a key player for Valencia CF. He had won the Copa del Rey the previous season, with a leading role in the semifinals and final. He also made his mark was in the lower categories of the National Team (he was champion and best player of the 2006 U19 European Championship). In this context, that game on 28 March 2009 proved a fundamental fact in every match. Juan Mata was among the best footballers in Spain, whose national team had just won the UEFA European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.

Mata replaced his Valencia teammate David Villa Click To Tweet

That 28 March, a month before his 21st birthday, Juan made his senior team debut. He did it at the Santiago Bernabéu against Turkey, a semi-finalist in the last European Championship, in a qualifying match for the World Cup in South Africa. Mata replaced his Valencia teammate David Villa. The change came in the 63rd minute, shortly after Gerard Piqué made the final 1-0.

He would be part of the historic team that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 Click To Tweet

The current Manchester United footballer was very active in the half-hour he disputed. He was supported by a midfield formed by Senna, Xabi Alonso and Xavi. Juan showed his guile and was even able to score the second for Spain. His attitude and performance suggested that he was here to stay. And how. He would be part of the historic team that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 (including a goal against Italy in the final). With Spain, he has scored 11 goals and assisted nine times in 41 games.

With Spain, he has scored 11 goals and assisted nine times in 41 games Click To Tweet
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