Juan Mata: I want to emulate Gianfranco Zola at Chelsea
Juan Mata is flattered by comparisons between himself and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola and wants to emulate the Italian
Juan Mata says he is flattered by comparisons between himself and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola – and is out to carve himself into Stamford Bridge folklore.
The 24-year-old playmaker has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers since joining the club from Valencia in the summer of 2011.
The Spain international has made 30 assists and scored 18 goals for the Blues this season – but he is convinced that he can still improve on his impressive start to life in west London.
“[Zola] was so good, so talented, just magic to watch. To be considered like him in any way makes me so happy,” Mata told the Guardian.
“But Gianfranco Zola achieved a lot more than I’ve done so far in my career. What he did here, the reputation he has here, is something I’d like to try to emulate.
“Everything I do is about improvement. Last season went so well for me, my first at the club after changing everything: my life, my football, from the Spanish league to the Premier League. But it’s stepped up again since.”