Video: Juan Mata greets disabled boy and hugs him outside Old Trafford
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has made a little boy’s dream come true. He greeted young Alex Nield, who is sadly suffering from cerebral palsy, outside Old Trafford with his father Jon when the Manchester United team coach arrived at the stadium. Cutting through a crowd of people, Juan Mata, having spotted the child earlier on, ran towards him, and gave him hug.
Later, Mata’s teammates Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera also posed for pictures with the boy.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5, Jon Neild said, “It was just a magical moment. Alex did actually meet Juan Mata after the Norwich game last season."
“We’d called into Old Trafford to meet a friend and he said that the players are due shortly to get on the coach, so we hot-footed to the Stretford End. Juan had immediately clocked Alex so after he’d gone through the line of people he shot over. A friend of ours, Leon (Labko), captured it all and put it on Facebook and it’s just gone absolutely crazy.”
Mata arrange tickets for father-son duo to watch the game
Mata also greeted the Boy’s father, and as an added gift, got both the boy and his father tickets to watch the game at Old Trafford.
Jon continued, “He even tried to sort him out a ticket because we didn’t have one for Sunday’s game. We managed to get in to watch the second half – he contacted the club, Juan Mata – so I take my hat off to him. It’s just a wonderful moment, how he comes over, gives Alex a hug, remembers his name.”
“It was just so touching that a player who everyone sees, (who’s so) high-profile, can spend the time to do that for my son, it was brilliant. (Alex) is absolutely made up. He probably thinks he’s best mates with him, it’s quite surreal really!"
“He was so, so happy that he came over, you see the delight on his face as he’s chatting to him.”
Juan Mata has shown all of us that while footballers are stereotyped as people who do not care about the common folk, there are footballers out there who will go out of their way to bring a smile to the face of a fan.