Juan Mata welcomes pressure of being Manchester United's record signing
Juan Mata says he can cope with the pressure of becoming Manchester United's record signing.
Last Updated: 28/01/14 8:48am
The 25-year-old Spain international has joined United for £37.1million from Chelsea and may make his debut at Old Trafford against Cardiff on Tuesday.
The attacking midfielder arrived at Chelsea in August 2011 and made a massive impact in his first two seasons, but has featured more intermittently this term and has now been allowed to join United.
"Coming here is a great moment for me," said Mata, when he was unveiled as a United player on Monday.
"I feel very happy to be here and have the chance to play for a massive club.
"The last six months at Chelsea were a bit difficult for me but now I am really happy and looking forward to winning as many trophies as I can with this club. I am sure it is going to be a great period for me.
"Manchester United is a massive club, with fans all around the world and this will be a big challenge.
"But I like the pressure, I think it's good for a footballer to try to improve. People are expecting big things from me and I am looking forward to it.
"What I like the most about this club is the character. I think if another club were in this position in the league (seventh), I think it would be very difficult to come back and take first position, but this club can do it.
"I think this is a club which is going to be successful and I am happy to play anywhere. I will try my best to improve as a player, to grow."
There had been speculation that Mata might be given the famous United No.7 shirt, but he will in fact be wearing No.8.
"I know seven is an iconic number here but I was speaking with David (Moyes) about it and we decided eight is a good number for me," he said. "Hopefully, it will bring me good luck."
Mata has been capped 32 times by Spain and says his desire to be in their World Cup squad this summer played a part in his move.
"It was really important," he said. "The Spain squad is really difficult to get into, there are a lot of players fighting to be in the last 23 going to Brazil.
"I hope this is a great chance for me to keep playing and show the manager of the national team I want to be there, I have to be there.
"I don't know what would have happened if I had stayed at Chelsea. Now I am here and, if things are good in the final part of the season, the World Cup is going to be closer for me, for sure."
He also said he is not bitter about the way his role at Chelsea became more marginal and added: "It is football. In football, everything is possible
"The first two seasons in Chelsea for me were amazing, I settled down so quickly.
"The last six months were difficult because I didn't play as much as I wanted but I respect that.
"Jose is a very good manager and the squad is unbelievable. I think they have one of the best squads in the Premier League.
"I just tried my best in training and every game but, when Man United came, it was a great option for me to carry on with my career."
United boss Moyes admitted that he was surprised to have been able to sign a player of Mata's calibre.
"I'm thrilled," he said. "I got wind of it a month or two ago that there could be an opportunity but I never really believed we could pull it off.
"I've been saying in press conferences that I didn't think we'd get a chance to do much business in January.
"I didn't think players would be available but, when we got a sniff that there was a chance Juan could be available, we went after it right away.
"Congratulations to the club and (chief executive) Ed Woodward for getting the deal done.
"We said the summer window would be tough but we've had a chance to look at everybody and now we will be making changes. Juan is the first."