Juan Mata wanted to 'prove himself' to Mourinho at United

Aubrey Yates
Декабря 8, 2017

Mkyhitarian was also quick to joke about his status around Europe, suggesting there are more "Gods" at Old Trafford than just Ibrahimovic after their Europa League last 16 tie against FC Rostov last season.

One of Mourinho's first games in charge was the 2016 Community Shield at Wembley against Premier League champions Leicester. Mata was named as a substitute by Mourinho, but came on after 63 minutes to replace goalscorer Jesse Lingard.

One of the main topics of conversation was Mkhitaryan's relationship with Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Mata has been prominent in the United line-up this season and barring injury he was a near ever-present in Mourinho's first campaign in charge.

"Everyone knows Ibrahimovic calls himself the God".

"Zlatan has a strong temper", he said.

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"When I started to play with him in the national team, it was hard to still have him as my idol, but of course I looked up to him and tried to learn how he is, not as a football player, more as a person", he added. People do not understand or do not want to understand his jokes or what he's talking about.

"I'm joking. There were many Armenians chanting my name". But when we landed in Rostov I told him: 'You see who the real God is'.

It's an absolutely blockbuster Manchester Derby taking place this Sunday, and naturally this fixture is dominating global football headlines today.

"Firstly, that I had no kind of personal problem with him, no matter what the press said, and secondly I wanted to show what I could bring to the team, to prove myself".

"That's his reasoning. I understood it, because he'd told me what he was going to do before the change".

We guess even gods succumb to the wrath of the dodgy cruciate ligament from time to time. The striker has been used cautiously by the manager owing to the severity of his injury and was omitted for their last two games against Arsenal and CSKA Moscow, but is likely to return to his place on the bench for the derby.

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