Man Utd's Mata confident of banishing Super Cup curse
Manchester United match-winner Juan Mata believes he is finally poised to end his UEFA Super Cup curse in next week's showpiece against Real Madrid.
The Spanish playmaker scored the decisive goal as United ended their pre-season with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Dublin on Wednesday.
Mata's strike ensured Europa League titleholders United will carry impressive form into what will be his third attempt at winning the annual intercontinental curtain-raiser.
The Spain international endured back-to-back defeats with Chelsea in the annual intercontinental curtain-raiser, first to Atletico Madrid in 2012 and then to Bayern Munich the following season.
However, the 29-year-old is encouraged by the Red Devils' pre-season form which has seen them claim six of seven outings.
"We [head into] the Super Cup in brilliant condition," Mata told MUTV.
"I've been lucky to play two [Super Cup finals] and I've been unlucky to lose two.
"We will try again on Tuesday, but it will be hard against Real Madrid."
Mata will be available for next week's blockbuster in Skopje, after returning to full fitness following an injury suffered in the pre-season win over Real Salt Lake which forced him to miss games against Madrid and Barcelona.
"I had a little problem but I'm happy to be back and to get a run out ahead of next week," he said.