Chelsea's Juan Mata eyeing European double

13 May 2013 02:47

Juan Mata hopes Chelsea can emulate Jose Mourinho's Porto by winning back-to-back European trophies this week.

Mourinho led Porto to the Europa League title in 2003 and the Champions League crown a year later before moving to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea, having won the European Cup in Munich 12 months ago, are seeking to do the reverse with victory over Benfica in Amsterdam on Wednesday night and hold both titles at the same time.

"We have now the chance to win two European trophies in a row, which is not easy for any club and we will try to do it," Mata said. "It would be very, very nice. After winning the Champions League and FA Cup, it would be really nice and I would be really pleased to win another trophy with Chelsea."

Mata's season began as part of Spain's victorious Euro 2012 squad, then he played in the Olympics. He has featured in more than 60 games for Chelsea, whose 68th and penultimate game of the campaign comes at the Amsterdam ArenA.

"It's been a long season in terms of the amount of games, but I think it's good," Mata said. "I'm really happy with the season personally, but it's not finished yet. It can be even better, if we win the title."

Mata praised the influence of compatriot Rafael Benitez, the interim boss who is expected to be succeeded by Real Madrid head coach Mourinho this summer.

"The manager's trying to rotate the players, we're resting," Mata said. "It's been a pleasure for me. He's a top manager, he's tried his best. If we win the trophy it will be great for him and the team."

While Mata, barring injury or illness, is certain to start in Holland, 18-year-old defender or midfielder Nathan Ake is merely content to be travelling with the squad, having begun to train with the first team in December.

Ake said: "It's good to play in a European final, but I don't know if I'm on the bench yet.

"I've played in the semi-final and quarter-final so that's good experience for me already and by travelling to Amsterdam as well."

Source: PA