Juan Mata has sung the praises of Ryan Giggs and claimed that, when he was growing up, the Welshman was his hero.

“I told him when I arrived that he had been my hero growing up,” Mata revealed. “And he said to me, ‘I’m really happy you’re here. But I’m a bit sad too because now I’ve only got the second best left foot at the club.’ I told him that was impossible. He was the player I watched most closely as a kid. I loved the way he controlled the ball and the touch he had. He was a pure winger, left-footed, right out on the touchline. He was fast, unplayable in a one-on-one situation, and he scored goals. Now destiny has made him my team-mate and my manager.”




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