And he would love to follow in the footsteps of Giggs who is still going strong at 37.
“Growing up, Ryan Giggs inspired me,” Mata explained. “Not just me but a generation of players who were coming through at the time.
“Maybe because I played in the same position, I paid more attention to him.
“He was one of the best players in the world and it’s amazing he is still going strong now.
“And his goal against Benfica in the Champions League last Wednesday demonstrated once more why he is one of the best wingers the game has ever seen.
“There was so much to admire about his game. He had it all – incredible pace, great skill, style and an eye for goal.
“When you look at the success he has had in the game it’s phenomenal. I would settle for a fraction of that.
“So after the game today, I will ask if I can have his shirt.”