Clubs: Real Madrid CF, Valencia CF, Chelsea FC
• Born in Burgos and raised in Oviedo, Mata joined Madrid's youth academy at the age of 15 but did not progress into the first team − despite an impressive 2006/07 season for the B side in which he scored ten goals.
• Moved to Valencia, where he quickly impressed, scoring five goals in 24 Liga encounters in 2007/08; also made a major contribution towards the club's Copa del Rey triumph, registering twice in the semi-final defeat of FC Barcelona and once in the final against Getafe CF.
• A European champion with Spain at U19 level in 2006, scoring five goals in four games at the finals in Poland, he earned his first senior cap in March 2009 and participated at the FIFA Confederations Cup a few months later; returned to South Africa and became a 2010 FIFA World Cup winner, although he made just one substitute appearance at the tournament.
• Began 2010/11 as key man for Valencia following the sale of fellow world champions David Silva and David Villa, a season which concluded with him helping Spain to glory at the European U21 Championship in Denmark.
• Sold to Chelsea in August 2011 for a reported fee of €30m and immediately impressed with goals on his domestic and European debuts; ended the campaign by helping the Blues to victory in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League finals.
• Made one three-minute substitute appearance at UEFA EURO 2012, scoring in the final against Italy as Spain became the first nation to retain the European title.
• Instrumental in Chelsea winning the UEFA Europa League in 2013, providing a joint best six assists, despite the Blues only entering the tournament at the round of 32 stage, and scoring one goal.
UEFA European Championship: winner 2012
UEFA Champions League: winner 2012
UEFA Europa League: winner 2013
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: winner 2011
UEFA European Under-19 Championship: winner 2006