On 1st July 2012, Juan Mata won the European Cup with Spain scoring a goal against Italy in a historic final at the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv.
Juan Mata was already world champion, but the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, at the beginning of the summer, came at the peak of his professional career. Consolidated as one the key players at Chelsea (he was awarded the best player of the team that season) and winner of the Champions League, Vicente del Bosque capped him to once again be part of the brightest generation in the history of the Spanish football.
As any other winning team, the hierarchies were very tight. You had to wait patiently for the opportunity, and be ready for it. Juan was ready on 1st July 2012, when Del Bosque decided that he would came in –for Iniesta- in the last minutes of the Eurocup final against Italy. The game was finished after goals from Silva, Alba and Torres, but Mata would not leave the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv without leaving his mark. In the minute 88, he took advantage of a pass from Fernando Torres, his teammate at Chelsea, to make the final 4-0.
His hug with Torres after the goal was the perfect finishing touch for that game and for the second consecutive European Cup for Spain. Juan Mata lifted the cup in a city that, ten years later, is going through a very difficult time. Hopefully the next anniversary will come under much better circumstances for Kyiv.