The official website for European football

Mata heads for hallowed ground

Published: Wednesday 7 April 2010, 22.05CET
Valencia CF winger Juan Mata hopes for another great occasion at the Vicente Calderón as his side bid to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at Club Atlético de Madrid's expense.
by Marcos Prieto
from Vicente Calderón
Mata heads for hallowed ground
Juan Mata has scored five games in the UEFA Europa League this season ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

AtléticoValencia

Goals scored11
 
22
Attempts on target73
 
135
Attempts off target30
 
1
Corners42
 
76
Offsides13
 
40
Fouls committed101
 
163
Yellow cards15
 
40
Red cards0
4

Media Services

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 7 April 2010, 22.05CET

Mata heads for hallowed ground

Valencia CF winger Juan Mata hopes for another great occasion at the Vicente Calderón as his side bid to reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at Club Atlético de Madrid's expense.

Having already enjoyed a notable career highlight at the Vicente Calderón, Valencia CF winger Juan Mata is hoping for a second night to remember as his side visit Club Atlético de Madrid with their UEFA Europa League quarter-final level at 2-2.

The 21-year-old scored his first goal for Valencia four minutes into their 3-1 victory against Getafe CF in the 2007/08 Spanish Cup final and is optimistic that augurs well for the coming challenge, saying: "I am hoping to have another thrilling experience here. I scored my first goal with Valencia and won the Copa del Rey in this stadium."

Two away goals in the first leg have left the tie tilted in the home side's favour, but Mata remain unconcerned and has no doubt that his side have the ability to score in the capital. "It shouldn't be so bad," said the former Real Madrid CF trainee. "We need a goal to qualify, and that kind of target is good for us."

With the UEFA Europa League in its first season since it evolved from the old UEFA Cup there is an added incentive for all the quarter-finalists and Mata did not understate the gravity of the occasion. "This is the most important match of our season," he said. "It's a final for us and we hope to have more big games in the next round."

The Spanish international has faced Atlético three times already this season, and knows how dangerous they can be. "We are similar sides in terms of making chances, but Atlético are very quick up the flanks and have very talented players who will be particularly dangerous in front of their own fans," he explained.

All the more important, then, that Valencia's travelling supporters are in good voice on the night of the match. "I want to thanks all the fans that have travelled from Valencia to support us in this important match," said Mata, who has scored five goals in 11 UEFA Europa League appearances this season. "We are going to give our best to win."

Last updated: 08/04/10 14.36CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000040/match=2000961/prematch/focus/index.html#mata+hallowed+ground

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.