We interviewed footballer Juan Mata in 2011 for Valencia’s European Capital of Sport campaign (Mata played for Valencia before moving to Chelsea). Here we share his answers, along with some of his recent photos from Twitter (you can follow him at @juanmata10).
This is my fourth year here. I already knew the city before I arrived and my experience confirmed the opinion that I already had. It is a great city, very welcoming.
How do you feel about living in Valencia?
Very comfortable, the quality of life is amazing and I adapted very quickly.
How would you describe Valencia in a nutshell?
It’s a very modern city with a great climate and a great range of cultural and leisure activities.
In so far as the aspects that I just mentioned, with Madrid and Barcelona, but without the drawbacks of a much larger city.
What do you like most about this Mediterranean city?
The food, the temperature, the proximity of the sea…
As regards the food you mention, what’s your favourite Valencian dish?
Apart from paella, of course, “fideuà”.
Before signing for Valencia and coming to live here, I used to come to Valencia on holiday, so I was already familiar with the city.
Your favourite place to go for a walk?
A place in which to lose yourself….
The area around El Saler.
And when there is something to celebrate?
There are all kinds of great restaurants.
What do you recommend as a must-do for tourists coming to Valencia?
To visit the city during “Fallas”.
Do you have any special memories or moments related to the city?
Many, some of which are related to the many sporting events that are held here.
If you ever have to leave, what would you take as a souvenir to remember Valencia?
I’d need a lot of suitcases to take everything I’d like to remember…