Valencia midfielder Juan Mata is happy to take on extra responsibility this coming season.

With David Silva and David Villa now gone, Mata knows he must take on a greater leadership role.

"The goal of each player is to improve and take on challenges, so I'm not afraid [to become a key figure]. At 22-years-old and with three years at the club, I think I've played many games and have had some importance, so I'm not afraid at all, it only motivates me, " Mata told Super Deporte.

The Spain international has also revealed that the level of success he has achieved thus far in his career is beyond belief.

"If someone said a few years ago that I would be able to play so many games for Valencia, debut in the national team and at 22-years-old would be one of the 23 privileged to win a World Cup I would not have believed them."