Juan Mata: 'Jose Mourinho snub made me better'

Chelsea's French-born Senegalese striker Demba Ba celebrates with Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata after Ba scored Chelsea's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London, on
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Juan Mata believes that falling out of favour at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho made him a stronger player.

Manchester United's record signing Juan Mata has claimed that his exile at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho made him a better player.

The Spaniard sealed a £37.1m move to Old Trafford on Saturday evening having fallen out of favour towards the end of his two-and-a-half-year stay at Stamford Bridge.

The 25-year-old had started just 11 Premier League fixtures for the West Londoners this term, but Mata insists he holds no resentment toward the Portuguese manager, whom he thanked for strengthening him on and off the field.

In an open letter written on his personal website, Mata wrote: "Thanks to every manager I have had the pleasure to work with during my time here.

"They have all been a big help for my progression as a player. I have always respected their decisions, whatever they were; they made me more mature and a stronger person.

"[Thank you] to Jose, for making me a stronger player, because in difficult moments, I have learnt to remain positive and to keep working hard."

Mata could make his United debut in the visit of Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

Juan Mata of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2013
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