Juan wears La Roja’s armband for the first time. Is the third consecutive game in which the United player plays for Spain. Spain closes off the qualification stage for the Euro Cup with a narrow win against Ukraine (0-1).
Back in 2012, in the same stadium, Mata netted the fourth goal in the European Cup final against Italy (4-0). Three years later, also in Kiev, Juan had another day to remember in his professional career, for the first time, in his 37 appearances for Spain, he wore the captain’s armband after replacing Fábregas in the 64 minute. A game where Spain won Ukraine thanks to a goal from Mario Gaspar (0-1), with an outstanding performance of David de Gea.
The half an hour Mata was captain, was complemented with a positive fact, the last three games Juan has played for La Roja ended in victory (against Macedonia, Luxembourg and Ukraine). The Spanish midfielder did not play three consecutive game for Spain since 2011, during the qualifying stage for the European Cup in Poland and Ukraine (he then played against Liechtenstein, Lithuania and the Czech Republic).
Spain qualifies for the Eurocup in France as top of group C, with nine wins out of ten games, having scored 23 goals and just conceded 3. A long road in which Juan, thanks to his fantastic form, has been an important part.