Juan Mata says he’s not ready to walk away from the “emotional roulette” of professional football, with the Manchester United star hopeful he has “plenty of years left” in the game.
Mata has enjoyed an illustrious career at the highest level spanning 14 years, which began with La Liga giants Real Madrid.
The midfielder left Santiago Bernabeu after one season in their Castilla side to join Valencia, where he quickly emerged as one of the brightest young talents in Spanish football.
Mata has scored 50 goals in 263 appearances for the Red Devils, while also providing 47 assists, helping the club win three major trophies in the process.
However, the 32-year-old has gradually fallen down the squad pecking order at Old Trafford, and is currently having to make do with a bit-part role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the start of the 2020-21 season.
Despite the fact he is no longer guaranteed regular minutes in Manchester, Mata is optimistic he can continue playing at the highest level for a while yet having grown accustomed to the intense nature of the job.
“I’ve thought about retirement, what it will be like, but I have no idea,” the United ace told The Guardian. “Football is an emotional roulette, every three days, short-term goals, the pace of life, suffering defeats, facing objectives, and it’s hard to find a role after.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I really hope I have plenty of years left, that an ex-footballer’s life is a few years away.
“You have to find a meaning to your life, not just live off what you were.”
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