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Fringe Chelsea player desperate for World Cup inclusion

Blues' playmaker admitted he is desperate to go to Brazil next summer, despite limited playing time in west London.

Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata has conceded that it is ‘impossible’ not to think about the World Cup this season.

The Spanish midfielder has become a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge this term under Jose Mourinho, and has admitted that he is desperate to be part of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for the tournament in Brazil next summer.

'The last word on those called to the national squad is with the national coach. He knows my strengths and what I can contribute,' Mata told reporters, as quoted by Four Four Two.

'With each call I receive I go with the ambition I had with the first one. It is true that I have had fewer minutes, but I feel fine. I try to do my best with my team and with the national team. It is impossible this year not to think about the World Cup and I hope that I can be there. From the age of 20 I have gone to all the major championships.'

Spain play Equatorial Guinea in a friendly on Saturday before returning to Johannesburg’s Soccer City to face South Africa – the scene of their World Cup triumph in 2010.

'It will be a very special moment. I remember the goal from Iniesta and my family at that time. That game was very nice. We are fortunate to be going back.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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