- Mata joins Vissel Kobe
- Was a free agent
- Left Galatasaray at the end of the season
WHAT HAPPENED? In the summer, Mata left the Turkish champions Galatasaray and has now joined the Takayuki Yoshida-coached team. After stints with Valencia, Chelsea, and Manchester United in the past, Mata had been without a club since leaving Galatasaray. He now joins Vissel Kobe after the club lost Mata's fellow Spaniard, Andres Iniesta.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mata is expected to fill in for Kobe's former Rubin Kazan midfielder Mitsuki Saito who suffered a serious knee injury against Kashiwa Reysol on August 19 that would keep him out for a year. Kobe plays Kyoto Sanga on Sunday knowing that a win would put them in first place in the current J. League rankings as they are only one point behind leaders Yokohama F Marinos.
IN A PHOTO:
WHAT NEXT FOR MATA? The Spaniard will not be involved with the team during their game on Sunday, September 3 against Kyoto Sanga in a match for the lead of the league.