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Man Utd cult hero wins second league title in five months despite playing just 10 minutes this season

Man Utd cult hero wins second league title in five months despite playing just 10 minutes this season

That's some haul.

Juan Mata has won his second league title in the space of five months despite playing just 10 minutes this season.

The 35-year-old left United for Galatasaray in 2022 after not being offered a new contract by Erik ten Hag.

Mata held discussions with the Dutchman before his arrival but opted to leave Old Trafford after eight-and-a-half years.

Despite winning the World Cup and European Championship with Spain and the Champions League with Chelsea, Mata never won the Premier League title while playing in England.

A player of his calibre retiring without winning a single league title would've been a huge shame. Well, have no fear. Mata's managed to grab himself two winners medals in 2023 alone.

Mata made 16 appearances in the Turkish Super Lig last term, scoring three goals and providing an assist as Galatasaray won their first title in four years.

The midfielder decided to leave Turkey after one year in June, penning an emotional goodbye to supporters.

He said: "I am so proud to be part of this family forever. The atmosphere that you create in our stadium and our away games is second to none, I can tell you that.

Mata spent one season in Turkey. He didn't leave empty-handed. (Image

"It ALWAYS feels like we play at home. You are without a doubt one of the best fans in the world.

"Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for the love you’ve given me and my family everywhere: in the streets, in the stadium, in the training ground… You are unique and essential for the club. I wish you all the happy moments that you deserve. I will never forget you!"

Shortly after that, Mata was on the move again. This time to a new continent. He joined Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe in September and was handed the number 64 shirt.

Mata now plies his trade with Vissel Kobe in Japan. (Image

Mata became the third player from Spain's World Cup winning squad to play for Kobe, after David Villa and Andres Iniesta.

He made his debut off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to Sanfrecce Hiroshima later that month. That 10-minute cameo ended up being his only appearance and Kobe were crowned J1 League champions on Saturday following a 2-1 win over Nagoya.

Interestingly, Kobe still managed to use him in official graphics confirming their first title win. It pays to be a big name.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Manchester United, Juan Mata, Premier League, Vissel Kobe, Galatasaray