Manchester United winger Juan Mata has opened up on his ritual of calling his mother before every match.
In an extract from his new autobiography, Juan Mata: Suddenly A Footballer', the former Chelsea star documents how he calls his mother on the way to the stadium before every match.
He says the mother is always worried about his physical well-being and has to ensure he talks to her every time.
“My mother has always been more worried about my physical wellbeing during a match than the result. That’s why, even now, I always call her when I’m on the coach on the way to the stadium. Always.
“It’s a ritual that we both enjoy, and which is also an extra source of motivation for me. Be careful. Enjoy, shoot . . . and try not to get hurt,” are always her words,"
"Heaven knows how she would cope if I were, say, a freeskier. But for all that she gets rather nervous during games, she still doesn’t miss a single one. She’s even gone so far as to send me text messages during a game,"
“She’s fully aware of the fact that, obviously, I can’t see it, so I imagine that she does it as a kind of release mechanism for her worry and sometimes frustration,"