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Mata hopes to earn World Cup spot

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MANCHESTER, England - Juan Mata hopes his club record transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United will help cement his place in the Spain World Cup squad in Brazil later this year.

A lack of first-team opportunities, and concerns over his international future, prompted the attacking midfielder into completing his STG37.1 million ($F116 million) transfer between the Premier League rivals.

Mata, 25, was relaxed and enthusiastic as he was unveiled to the world's media at United's training ground on Monday, admitting the prospect of ensuring he added to the 32 caps he has already earned with his national team led to the transfer — especially after being left out of one Spain squad already this season.

"It was really important," said Mata of the part concerns over an international place played in his move.

"The Spain squad is really difficult to get into, there are a lot of players fighting for positions to be in the last 23 going to Brazil.

"I hope this is a great chance for me to keep playing, keep fit 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, now the moment is here."

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