Juan Mata's best XI: Chelsea, Man United stars dominate
Juan Mata's best XI: Chelsea, Man United stars dominate
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Juan Mata's best XI: Chelsea, Man United stars dominate

Former Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata will be returning to Stamford Bridge on Monday night with Manchester United six years since departing the London club.

The Spaniard was a fan-favorite at the club, having won the Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League and two Player of the Year awards in the two seasons he was a Blue. 

He enjoyed his stay in London, and ahead of his return, he has picked his best XI that has players from both sides, past and present. 

Defense

The Spaniard picked Branislav Ivanovic, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry and Patrice Evra in defense, heaping praise on the two Chelsea defenders. 

"At Chelsea, he could play at right-back or center-back and be excellent in either position," said Mata about Branislav.

"He was strong, very difficult to beat one-on-one – and even effective at the other end of the pitch, too."

He further heaped praise on his former captain. 

"I’d always look for him with my free-kicks and he’d be there – I gave him a lot of assists! He could turn an average cross into a good one…"

Midfield

Current Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, whom they won the Champions League together, is first on the list. 

"Simply, one of the best players in the history of English football," Mata said about the Chelsea legend. 

Joining him in midfield is Manchester United greats Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs.

Striking

Upfront, the Spaniard has picked Didier Drogba, whom he played with at Stamford Bridge for years, memorably scoring the winning penalty that gave them the Champions League title. 

Alongside him is another top striker in David Villa, who won multiple titles with Spain national team includin the Wolrd Cup. 

Mata's best XI: Ivanovic, Ferdinand, Terry, Evra; Lampard, Carrick, Giggs; Drogba, Villa. 

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