Juan Mata takes CNN Sport to his restaurant Tapeo & Wine, where he guides them through his favourite tapas dishes, comparing them to his fellow players.
From tasty tapas to sublime seafood, Spanish cuisine suits all tastes, but if he could describe himself as a dish from his native Spain, Mata would opt for the humble tortilla.
In the video, the 29-year-old compares teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic to chargrilled sirloin steak (lomo de buey) because he is “aged, classic, very powerful and strong … very experienced, a very successful player, lots of character and a lot of passion for everything he does.”
He suggests Michael Carrick would be ham croquettes (croquetas de jamon).
“We are speaking here about a player that is liked by everyone,” says Mata.
He also compares the dish potatas bravas (brave potatoes) to Ander Herrera.
“Spicy, right?” says Mata. “Ander Herrera is very funny, always joking and pranking everyone so probably him. Obviously, he’s Spanish and he’s a bit spicy sometimes the way he plays so he will fit.”