Cousin David admits the importance of education was drilled into Mata by his family.
"Football was always on the television and Juan went to a lot of matches," cousin David told the Daily Mail. "He used to watch a lot of videos of Romario, Marco van Basten and Michael Laudrup.
'But his parents and his sister Paula drummed it into him from early on that a footballer's career is short and that he had to study so there was something for him afterwards.
"He still does now and is doing degrees in marketing and sports science. If you listen to his interviews, he knows about the opposition, he knows statistics. He goes into games full of information. And he was in the choir when he was young for a few years, too."