Juan Mata wants to emulate Gianfranco Zola

Mata wants to emulate Zola
© PA Photos
Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata reveals that he aims to emulate the success of Gianfranco Zola at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has declared that he is striving to emulate the success of club legend Gianfranco Zola at Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish playmaker has become a firm favourite in West London since signing from Valencia two years ago.

Mata has admitted that he is flattered by any comparison to Zola and still believes he can improve on a strong start to his Premier League career.

He told The Guardian: "[Zola] was so good, so talented, just magic to watch. To be considered like him in any way makes me so happy.

"But Gianfranco Zola achieved a lot more than I've done so far in my career. What he did here, the reputation he has here, is something I'd like to try to emulate.

"Everything I do is about improvement. Last season went so well for me, my first at the club after changing everything: my life, my football, from the Spanish league to the Premier League. But it's stepped up again since."

The 24-year-old has 18 goals in all competitions this season as Chelsea continue to fight on three fronts.

Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates scoring the opener in the FA Cup 4th round replay against Brentford on February 17, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
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9Everton2376102538-1327
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13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
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16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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