• News

Mata recalls being intimidated by ‘scary’ Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal, Juan Mata, Manchester United
Getty Images

Juan Mata has opened up on his meeting with Loius van Gaal when he first joined Manchester United.

In a surprising turn of events, Manchester United completed the signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea in the winter of 2014.

The Spaniard was signed by David Moyes who, after a series of mediocre results, was fired a few months later to accommodate Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal immediately dipped in the transfer window and modified the Man Untied team to match his own style. While his two-year tenure was not as remarkable as his time at Ajax, Barcelona, or Bayern Munich, he did manage to win the FA Cup on his final day in charge before being sacked.

Recently, Mata, who scored the equalizing goal in the match, recounted the first time he met Van Gaal.

“I arrive in the room and it was him, Ryan Giggs and a bottle of Rioja, red wine, with three glasses,” Mata told Man United’s official podcast.

“He had a drink and said: ‘Tell me who you are’. I mean my name is Juan, I am 26, I play football. ‘No, no. Tell me who you are as a man. Do you have a family? What do you find important in life?

“From that moment, he can look scary face to face and sometimes goes close to you. But, after that, he was a very warm and genuine man. He was scary. I tell you.”