Mata, Herrera, United-Paris
Former teammates Juan Mata and Ander Herrera will meet again when Paris hits Old Trafford in Round 5.
UEFA.com took part in the teleconference as the two midfielders talked about the old days and hoped they would spend more time together in the future.
Ander Herrera : How are you my friend?
Juan Mata : All right. We just finished our workout, it's the same with you, right?
Herrera : No, we are training this afternoon.
Mata : Okay, you'll have a workout later. Were you at the gym today as usual to work on your body?
Herrera A: I am going to work on the old pectoral muscles later.
Mata : Good things, good things.
Watch the full chat on UEFA.tv
In the days of their one glory
Herrera A: The games that stuck with me the most, and I think the same goes for you Juan, are the games in which we raised the silverware because trophies are always important, and at Manchester United. Obviously the [Europa League 2017] final against Ajax in Sweden ...
Mata : The final in which you were the best player of the match. Come on, if you're not going to say it, I'll say it for you! You were the best player of the match.
Herrera : I didn't want to say this out of modesty, but that's right, I have a trophy at home. This European trophy in Sweden was very important for United and became the first [European] silver in a long time after the victory in Moscow, if I'm not mistaken, right Juan? After winning the [UEFA] Champions League in Moscow over Chelsea.
Mata : Yes, it's right.
Herrera : We've been together for five years, and during that time we have always played well against Liverpool. If I remember correctly, we won two or three times at Anfield. We have never lost at home to Liverpool in the league or even in the Europa League [UEFA] because I think it ended in a draw when they knocked us out, right?
Mata : We lost to them in the Europa League in their place, but not at home, right?
About Herrera's move from United to Paris
Mata : We miss you here.
Herrera : I miss you guys a lot too, and you know that.
Mata : I think the city is crazy about football. You walk down the street and the fans support either United or City. This is a city that lives and breathes football every day of the year.
Herrera A: I really enjoyed spending time in Manchester because of the people of Manchester. They were funny people who, despite the harsh climate, always smiled and always tried to pick you up.
Mata : What are you missing in Manchester?
Herrera : I clearly miss my friends like you guys. Such as Eric [Bailly], Marcos [Rojo], the staff of the club. When guests from Spain came to us, and the three of us - David [de Gea], you and me - got together with everyone and talked about everything and everything except football. I miss those good times we shared and there will obviously be many more.
Mata : We lived on the same street, and whenever friends came to one of us, we all got together to have dinner or watch a Spanish league match together, watch your favorite Real Zaragoza, watch [Real] Oviedo.
Herrera : Quite right. And David [de Gea], we cannot forget about David, who was also a very important part of our time together in Manchester. He arrived there before us. He also helped us get comfortable when we first arrived and we started spending a lot of time together.
Mata : Life in Paris must be incredible because I really like this city.
Herrera : I really enjoyed my first year here. It is very unfortunate that the pandemic happened. The pandemic is really killing me because I cannot truly enjoy Paris as I would like. Fortunately, I still have a few more years left on the contract.
During the meeting of the 1st round in Paris
Mata : The last time we met was at that game, apparently in the Parc des Princes. It was a very positive game for us, but not for you. At the end of the day, Marcus [Rashford] 's goal gave us these three important points. But on a personal level, I saw that you did well too. You always do your job. But we were good. We were good that day, weren't we?
Herrera : It is true that you were better overall, but David [de Gea] stepped up in these key moments of the game. Because we had two or three good moments. One from [Livin] Kurzawa in the first half. Another one from Angel [Di Maria] also in the first half. Then Kilian [Mbappe] shot in the second half. I always feel very happy when David saves so many hits, but that day it pissed me off.
Mata : Do you know what I'm sorry about when I think about it? That you are going to come to Manchester and the stadium will not be full and there will be no fans to greet you again. It's a shame. You would be full of it.
Herrera : You always dream of those moments, especially in those places where you gave your best. For example, when we went to London to play for Chelsea, I remember all the love people have for you there. And I have the same feeling for Manchester, so I really wanted to thank the people again for the five years that we lived together, but this will not happen.
For the future
Herrera : I hope this [pandemic] ends and [we get] the vaccine and we can meet. Either I go to Manchester, or you come to Paris to laugh and we can go out for lunch together and hug each other [again].
Mata : You are not a guy who likes to relax, meditate. Not that kind of guy.
Herrera : I like to chat. After all, we only live once. Let's go share things, make the most of it, and learn from everyone.
Mata : Your smartphone is on fire because of all the video calls, right?
Herrera : Right. But there is time for everything. There is also time for rest. But listen, we're 31 or 32 years old. Not sure if we will ever meet again on the pitch.
Mata : Right, but we could meet as coaches, right? An Old Trafford bench would be perfect for you.
Herrera : You still want to be my assistant, right?
Mata : I am already taking a coaching course.
Herrera : Okay. OK. I like it.