Chelsea’s Mata wants Olympic medal

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has revealed the club will allow the Spain international to play for his country at this summer’s London Olympics, even though the competition clashes with the Blues’ preparations for the start of the Premier League season, the Daily Mail has reported.

Mata has been named as one of the three over-age players in Spain’s Olympic football squad, even though Chelsea would be allowed to insist upon his withdrawal. But the Champions League winners will allow the 24-year-old to compete at the Olympic Games, with Mata explaining he wants to cap a successful first season at Stamford Bridge by winning a gold medal.

He said: “I have confirmed with Chelsea that I can play the Olympics. It’s something I have agreed with the Spanish federation, and I don’t want to change. My dream is to play and win the gold in London. After winning a lot with Chelsea last season, that would be another great honour.

Mata won the FA Cup and Champions League last season, having moved to Chelsea from Valencia in summer 2011. The Olympics are not Mata’s only chance of international success this summer either, as he is currently on international duty with Spain at Euro 2012. However, although Spain have successfully negotiated their way out of a tricky group, also containing Croatia, Italy and the Republic of Ireland, Mata has been an unused substitute in all three fixtures thus far.

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