Valencia CF vs Manchester United

Dec, 12 / 21:00 Matchday 6

Actualidad del Valencia C.F.
January, 29 2018

Mata: “2008 is impossible to forget, the fans deserved to to experience another final”

The hero of the Copa del Rey win 10 years ago was key when that side knocked out Barça in the semi finals, before going on to lift the trophy

When a Valencia CF fan thinks back to the 2008 Copa del Rey semi-final clash against FC Barcelona, they will soon remember an exciting clash that took the club into a final that they went on to win. Juan Mata was one of the heroes of that side, and he scored in the 1-1 draw at Camp Nou to set up the team to go on and win 3-2 at Mestalla.

It is almost 10 years since that knock-out tie. Therefore, we chatted with Juan Mata, who currently plays for Manchester United, with those two semi-final clashes will being fresh in his memories: “That was a tie that was impossible to forget, especially in the second leg when we played at Mestalla. For the goals and then the celebrations for getting into a final.”

In the first leg, Valencia CF kept things tight at the back and looked to attack at pace on the counter attack. That same plan will come into play this season, as Jose Gaya recalled recently. Camp Nou was surprised ten years ago by what Mata could offer, as he played in a midfield three alongside Maduro and Banega.

When it was time for the second leg at Mestalla, where Valencia CF won 3-2, Mata scored twice with Baraja getting the third. “I remember it like it was yesterday. The goals, first a rocket from Baraja and then my own, one in either goal. The first came from a Villa pass, with the second assisted by Silva,” Mata recalls. “I remember going out on the balcony at Mestalla, seeing the street full of people signing and celebrating with us. The fans deserved another final, that was how I felt about it.”

Without doubt, March 20th 2008 “was an unforgettable night that will always be in the memory of those that experienced it.” Can the squad this year make history repeat itself?