Juan Mata keen to earn Spain recall under Luis Enrique
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is keen to earn a recall to the Spain national side under new boss Luis Enrique. La Roja endured a shock round of 16 defeat to Russia which ended their hopes of another World Cup crown and their FA have since decided appointed Enrique as the successor to Fernando Hierro.
Speaking to reporters, Mata admitted that he now has the opportunity to return to the Spain fold after failing to make a single appearance for the national team over the past 18 months, he said: “I will do everything in my power to return to the national team. I hope the new coach will count on me because I'm going to do everything possible to go back.
“I would love to help Spain become champions again. I now return to work [with United] and I hope this is a passionate season, a good one for me and for my team. The aim is to win the Premier League and do a good job in the Champions League, but above all to continue to enjoy playing football.”
Mata only featured in a single game under Julen Lopetegui in November 2016 and he was thereafter ignored for national team duty with the manager placing his focus on the upcoming generation of talents. Nevertheless, Lopetegui could not take charge of La Roja at the World Cup after he was surprisingly sacked over his verbal agreement to join Real Madrid without the knowhow of the country’s hierarchy.
Aside from Mata, the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Alvaro Morata, and Cesar Azpilicueta have not got much gametime under the previous management and it will be interesting to see whether the quartet of Premier League players can revive their national team careers under the tutelage of new boss Enrique. Enrique’s first assignment will be to pick the squad for the internationals in September.