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Mata focus fixed on Spain return

Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata says he will work harder than ever to earn a recall into the Spain squad.

Mata has been in ominous form at club level so far this season, helping his side to a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

But the competition for places in the national set up is such that Spain coach Vicente del Bosque overlooked the 24-year-old for World Cup qualifiers this month.

“What Del Bosque said is a reality,” Mata told French radio station RMC. “There are many very good players and competition is hard. I have to work to come back, it’s up to me.”

Spain did not feel Mata’s absence on Friday as they cruised to a 4-0 win against Belarus.

The world and European champions face France in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier with the likes of David Silva, Andres Iniesta and Santi Cazorla ahead of Mata in the pecking order.

Aside from the snub, Mata is happy with how his season has panned out thus far.

“I’d like to be with the (Spanish national) team but I’m OK because I’m very happy with everything that is happening to me at the moment,” he said.

“Things are going well for me at Chelsea.”

Tue 16 October, 2012
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