REUTERS - Manchester United have had a long, hard season but the prospect of winning a European trophy and booking a spot in next season’s Champions League will be enough to revitalise tired minds and bodies for one more match, midfielder Juan Mata has said.
United, who finished sixth in the Premier League, face Ajax Amsterdam in Wednesday’s Europa League final knowing victory will earn them a berth in next season’s elite club competition.
“The Champions League is the best competition ... now we are playing in the Europa League and if we win it as I did a few years ago (with Chelsea), it’s a double bonus, as it’s a trophy and a Champions League spot, so it’s very important,” Mata told The Telegraph.
The final will be United’s 64th game of the season after competing across four competitions and winning the League Cup but Mata is confident that fatigue will not a play a role in Stockholm on Wednesday.
“It’s been a long season, but when you have a game like this, the very last game, all the fatigue and tiredness in your legs and body goes away because the desire of playing and winning it is much bigger than any possible fatigue.”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford