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Mata eyeing ‘perfect summer’ for Spain

Mata eyeing ‘perfect summer’ for Spain

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The Chelsea attacker could secure his fourth winners medal of the season should the Spanish seal Olympic glory for the first time since 1992 at London 2012

Chelsea and Spain attacker Juan Mata hopes to seal a "perfect summer" by following Euro 2012 success in Poland & Ukraine with an Olympic gold medal.

The former Valencia man has been named as one of three over-aged players in Spain’s 18-man squad for the tournament, with La Roja considered to be one of the favourites to win gold.

And, despite the full national side's status as reigning world and European champions, Mata is insistent that the Spanish under-23 squad will not be taking anything for granted.

"It seems that we must win the gold without even playing first, and that's not the case,” he joked to reporters. “There are other very strong teams, who have squads that can challenge for the title.
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"We have to be isolated from these expectations about winning. We want to do as well as possible, but we know that it will be difficult.

"Personally I've had a fantastic season, and if we win, it would be a perfect summer and a first season in England in which I couldn't have asked for more."

Spain last won Olympic football gold at their home games in Barcelona in 1992, but with stars such as Mata, Javi Martinez, David De Gea, Iker Muniain and Euro 2012 final goalscorer Jordi Alba all featuring in Luis Milla’s squad, they are considered to be strong contenders.

And Mata, who won the FA Cup and Champions League with Chelsea this season as well as Euro 2012, cites the work ethic in the Spanish game as the secret behind their success.

"Spain have won in recent years because behind the success there is sacrifice and a lot of hard work, and this is a good path to follow,” the 24-year-old said.

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