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LAUREUS EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Luis Figo and Juan Mata in Madrid.

matatranscript
Interview with Luis Figo and Juan mata in Madrid. 
EDITED TRANSCRIPT
November 12, 2013
 
Material on the Laureus website is available for print and online media use free of charge provided full credit is given, for example….’Juan Mata/Luis Figo speaking to Laureus.com’
 
JUAN MATA
 
Question:
You play in the English Premier League, what are your views on the England team?
 
Juan Mata:
The English Team is really very good. They have many players from the top teams in England and in Europe, so for me the England team is going to be a contender for the title in big tournaments.
 
Question:
What differences do you see between the Spain and the England team
 
Juan Mata:
Talking about our national team, Spain, to be honest, it’s going to be very special for me to be there.  I feel so lucky to be training with such a team because we know each other really well.  We know how to play because we are friends off the pitch, it’s very important. If you are a team that wants to win you have to be like a family. I think that’s what we are in the Spanish team.  Probably that’s one of the secrets that the Spanish have.
 
Playing in the World Cup is the greatest experience for any player. I had the opportunity to play in South Africa and win our country’s first ever World Cup, so it will be fantastic to be part of that team again. We are facing a big challenge: to be world champions again and keep writing history. And it will be a dream come true to play and win a World Cup and in Brazil, a country that loves football.
 
Question:
Which other teams will do well in Brazil in 2014?
 
Juan Mata:
I think it’s going to be really, really hard to win this tournament because obviously some of the countries that are going to be there are also really fighting to make it to the final. For me Brazil, the hosts, have a great, great squad with young players.  They beat us in the Confederations Cup last summer.  Italy too are going to really fight with us for the title.
 
Question:
How do you enjoy playing in the English Premier League?
 
Juan Mata:
To be honest it’s amazing to play in England. Since the first day, I felt it was different, which is fun because in your career, when you are playing in just one league maybe you don’t know what’s happening in another country; how they play in different leagues.  I think it’s important to be able to grow as a player knowing different types of football. In England the atmosphere, the stadiums, the different crowds, the organisation, everything is amazing.  For us, we have to be focused on playing football and then the rest is easy.  Playing in the Premier League is a pleasure for me.
 
Question:
Tell us about your involvement with Laureus as an Ambassador?
 
Juan Mata:
Today we are in Madrid, doing an event with the Laureus Foundation and watch manufacturer IWC, a Laureus Global Partner, trying to help children when they have problems with relationships between each other.  We come here to help them through sport, on this occasion through football and cycling. I think sport is a good way to improve as a person as well.
 
Question:
How did the children react to your visit?
 
Juan Mata:
It was fantastic for us to come here and to see the kids.  Some of them didn’t know who we are, because they don’t know much about football or sports – they are just trying to improve as a person with their lessons in this school.  Others they love football and they knew us, so it’s a mix of reactions, but the most important thing today was to help them feel how they can improve as people through sport and seeing how we can make them smile.  This is the most important thing for kids, to try to make them happy.
 
Question:
Do you have a message for the Laureus Foundation in Spain who organised this event?
 
Juan Mata:
To be honest, I really look up to these people [the leaders]. It’s amazing how they work for the kids; how they try to make the kids’ lives better, and for me they deserve to be known, to be recognised.  I think these people are the ones who make society better – the world better.  And obviously better for the kids, because they are the future.  I really admire these people and I encourage them to keep doing it, to do it even more, to do it bigger, with more kids and obviously I will be here to help them.
 
 
LUIS FIGO
 
Question:
Luis, can you tell us why you are here in Madrid?
 
Luis Figo:
We are in Madrid, at the Pauta Association, an association that helps kids and adults with autism problems. Laureus helps, with funds obtained through the sale of an IWC special edition Laureus watch, to help create a better life and future for these young people. At the project we spent some time with the kids and did some activities like riding a tandem and playing football. It was an opportunity to connect with them, to see the work these professionals do for them, to give them a better day-to-day life to help them to integrate better into society and to overcome bit by bit their problems.
They are kids who have special problems to relate and it’s extremely gratifying to get them laughing and see that they had a good time.  For us it is really gratifying to come here and see the work the association is doing.
 
Question:
Are you looking forward to the World Cup next year in Brazil?
 
Luis Figo:
First of all my country [Portugal] could qualify as we’ll play the play-off against Sweden and  I hope we succeed. As well, I hope it will be an extraordinary event as regarding the national teams is one of the best sport events in the world. And with the passion about football they have in Brazil, probably it will be unforgettable.
 
Question:
Who do you think will win?
 
Luis Figo:
Spain is one of the favourites as they are the actual world champions. They have fantastic players and, without a doubt, are one of the strongest teams. But at the same time it will be a challenge to see if the same national team could win the title two times in a row. So we will have to wait and see. But obviously they are one of the favourites.
 
Question:
What do you think of Juan Mata as a player for Chelsea and Spain?
 
Luis Figo:
I haven’t had the chance to know Mata very well, but I think he is an intelligent person. As a professional, he is a great player. All the Spanish and English fans that have the opportunity to see him every weekend can enjoy the way he plays and his quality. And he is young. I hope he has a brilliant career in front of him.