Juan Mata has encouraged more foreign stars to move to the Premier League. The 27-year-old Spaniard swapped Valencia for Chelsea in 2011, and says he has not regretted his decision to play in England.
Mata – who joined Manchester United in 2014 – has relished the experience of playing in England. He has recommended the challenge to other foreign players who are currently considering their own futures.
"I enjoy everything about football in this country. Since the moment I came over here, more than four years ago, I have enjoyed every minute. I think it's a great experience to play football here and I always say the same," he said, according to The Mirror.
"I would advise any player in the world to try to play in the Premier League for at least one season and realise how big and how massive football is in this country. We're talking about respect from the fans, great organisation in the league – I really like it."
The Manchester United star also dismissed the idea that it takes foreign players a period of time to acclimatise to the pace of football in the Premier League. "Obviously it's true that many more teams in Spain try to play possession football, but I still really like it here," he said.
"I'm not the strongest player ever, but if you are clever enough to try to find spaces, you can still have time on the ball, you can create chances and enjoy your football, do your skills, assist and score. I think English football can give you that opportunity."
Mata admitted football in England is more physical than it is in Spain. However, the Manchester United man said the challenge is one that foreign players should embrace.
"Obviously, it's true that it's more physical acclimatise the football is stronger, it's quicker, it's box-to-box, and so you have to be ready, physically and mentally, for it. But I think it's good for any player," he added.