Man United star says he could ‘continue to play’ until he’s 40

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata says he could continue playing professional football until he’s 40, fitness permitting, before considering a non-playing role.

The Spanish international, who arrived at Old Trafford from Chelsea in 2014, revealed his future plans to Panenka magazine of what he’ll do when his playing career comes to an end.

Mata said: “I would like to play until I’m 40 if my body allows me to. I will carry on with Common Goal. And management tempts me, but it is an unforgiving role.

 “A coach depends on whether I take a corner well or finish a chance in front of goal and really, what influence does he have over this when it happens? I understand that people take decisions under pressure but the process is not valued, only results.

 “I also want to work with youngsters, warn them of the perils and remind them of their responsibilities because it is sometimes easy to fall off the right track needed to get to the top level.

 “Psychology also attracts me and in football, the mental aspect is very important, because if the mind is not settled, the feet do not work either.”

 The 29-year-old has largely been a regular in the starting lineup this season, making 22 Premier League appearances, and is contracted at Old Trafford for another 18 months.

He’s currently working hard on his charity Common Goal, aimed at raising funds for sporting charities around the world, but could consider taking charge of a club in the future too.

Supporters will be happy to hear the former Valencia man isn’t planning an early retirement and is keen to continue playing, but what he does after that is anybody’s guess.

In the last four years, Mata has made more than 170 appearances in all competitions. He’s also featured over 40 times for the Spanish national team.

He’s now made more appearances for Manchester United than he did at Chelsea and Valencia, and clearly has no immediate plans to leave.

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