REcent

Juan Mata confident of winning Super Cup curse 

Manchester United midfielder, Juan Mata believes he is finally poised to end his UEFA Super Cup curse in next week’s showpiece against Real Madrid.

The 29-year-old scored the decisive goal as United ended their pre-season with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday.

Mata’s strike showed Europa League title holders United will carry impressive form into what will be his third attempt at winning the annual intercontinental curtain-raiser.

The Spaniard playmaker endured back-to-back defeats with Chelsea in the annual intercontinental curtain-raiser, first to Atletico Madrid in 2012 and then to Bayern Munich the following season.

He is pleased by the Red Devils’ pre-season form which has seen them claim six of seven outings.

“We [head into] the Super Cup in brilliant condition,” Mata told MUTV.

“I’ve been lucky to play two [Super Cup finals] and I’ve been unlucky to lose two.

“We will try again on Tuesday, but it will be hard against Real Madrid.”

The former Chelsea player will be available for next week’s blockbuster in Skopje, after returning to full fitness following an injury suffered in the pre-season win over Real Salt Lake.

“I had a little problem but I’m happy to be back and to get a run out ahead of next week,” he concluded.

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