The Spanish tradition says that Three Wise Men visit the homes in the night between the 5th and the 6th of January and they bring presents for everybody. Juan Mata, like a Wise Man, surprised children at Waterhead Academy and Tameside General Hospital, as he delivered toys that he has personally donated for a third consecutive year. The children welcomed Mata with a Spanish themed assembly to honour the important day in the midfielder’s country’s tradition and students were thrilled to receive gifts from the player.
“When I was a kid, Three Kings Day was the best day of the year. We would open our presents and play in the streets. It is a big tradition and it’s a special day so it was the perfect time to come here and visit the children. It was great to see their smiling faces”, said Juan Mata.
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The visit ties in with the Spanish national holiday, Los Tres Reyes Magos, which means The Three Kings, and is celebrated on 6th January to honour the day the Three Wise Men gave gifts to Baby Jesus.
Children, families and entire cities throughout the country celebrate the major Spanish Christmas tradition, with festivals and parades along with the tradition of exchanging gifts. Juan Mata observed the day by doing good.
“Today was a good opportunity for us to do something nice for kids who are having problems in their lives in different ways, whether it’s physical or mentally so I came here to deliver some of these toys for the kids and it was great to see their faces”, said Juan Mata. He loves to help Manchester United Foundation, that works in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK using football to change young lives for the better.