Juan Mata has hailed Bobby Charlton as “a leading example” after Old Trafford’s South Stand was renamed in the club icon’s honour ahead of Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Everton.
Charlton is United’s record goalscorer and Mata said United’s latest victory, which was their fourth successive Premier League win at home, was “special”.
United’s victory leaves Louis van Gaal’s side a point behind rivals Manchester City in the race for the Premier League’s fourth and final Champions League qualification place.
“This Sunday’s game was special because of Sir Bobby Charlton,” Mata wrote in his weekly blog.
“Ever since I arrived at this club I felt his support, and he gives you a calmness and positivity that are worthy of a great legend.
“He is a reference, someone who has proved with facts that you should never surrender; that, if you fight, you can get as far as you want no matter the obstacles that stand before you.
“In short, he represents all the values that define this club, and both in the past and the present he still is the ideal ambassador of what being a Red Devil means.
“One side of his Theatre of Dreams already bears his name, and reminds us players about his greatness when we step onto the pitch. Things like these make you realise, once again, how special this club is.
“Bobby Charlton, no doubt, is a leading example to all of us.”
Mata also picked out Anthony Martial for praise, the striker having scored the winner against Everton after combining with fellow young talents Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
“The goal came after a play I was lucky to be involved in, and with three young players taking an active part: Rashford, Fosu-Mensah and Martial,” Mata wrote.
“This is a good example of what we are trying to build: young guys with a bright present and a bright future ahead who are ready to compete at the highest level. The club’s academy is doing a very good job and it is bearing fruit.”
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