Juan Mata has criticised the Spanish media for the way it perceives players who play outside of the country. The Manchester United man said that Spanish players like Santi Cazorla who play away from their homeland don’t get as much credit as they deserve (via The Metro).
We’re not used to seeing comments like this just a few days before a match between Arsenal and Manchester United. The rivalry between the two clubs has changed in recent years and the days of Roy Keane versus Patrick Vieira are long in the past but it’s still unusual to see.
Juan Mata isn’t exactly known for his maliciousness but the midfielder was asked in an interview about the Spanish media and took it as an opportunity to compliment another Spanish midfielder in the Premier League.
“I have thought about that sometimes and I have the feeling that maybe (Spain forget about the players who are playing abroad),” said Mata.
“When you do not play in Spain you are not on the daily radar of the newspapers. That importance we have in England sometimes does not reach us from Spain.
“Obviously, the national team manager and his staff watch our games. I do not think that (playing abroad) has an influence in the call-up (of the national team) but in the level of repercussion
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“The media do not talk too much about what happens here (in the Premier League).
“Obviously it’s a fantastic League which deserves to be covered (by the media) but sometimes I think that (the Spanish media don’t do it).
“Santi Cazorla comes to my mind. He is a super important player, one of Arsenal captains and in Spain he is not so recognised.”
Mata was called up to the Spanish national team but Santi Cazorla hasn’t made an appearance for La Roja since the 4-0 victory over Luxembourg in October 2015. Santi Cazorla probably does deserve more credit for his national team.
Santi Cazorla probably does deserve more credit for his national team. The midfielder is incredibly consistent for Arsenal and is widely admired by the British press but he just doesn’t seem to have the same level of affection in his homeland. Admittedly, the Spanish are hardly short of players in his position. Perhaps if Cazorla wasn’t behind the likes of Andres Iniesta, Sergi Busquets and Thiago Alcantara in the pecking order then the Spanish press might view him in the same way as its British counterpart.