Juan Mata has spoken about his time playing under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.

Speaking to Manchester United’s official podcast, Mata described Van Gaal as ‘scary’ but also praised the coach and revealed he could get emotional at times.

The Spaniard said on meeting Van Gaal for the first time, “I arrive in the room and it was him, Ryan Giggs and a bottle of Rioja, red wine, with three glasses

“He was like: ‘Do you want a drink?’ and I was like: ‘No, no, I’m fine’. He had a drink and said: ‘Tell me who you are’. I mean my name is Juan, I am 26, I play football. ‘No, no. Tell me who you are as a man. Do you have family? What do you find important in life?

“From that moment, he can look scary face to face and sometimes goes close to you but, after that, he was a very warm and genuine man. He was more than a football manager with tactics, he is a great human being and I learned a lot from him.

“He was scary. I tell you. He was a very nice man; a very, very nice man; very genuine and very sensible. You wouldn’t expect that but he was very sensible.

“H would get emotional and was crying sometimes, when he was speaking about important matters. When he found the right values, the right football, he got emotional.”

Van Gaal coached Manchester United between 2014 and 2016.




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