Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata tells Special Report he feels right at home in London

Last Updated: 15/05/13 10:54am

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has been a big hit since making the move to London from Valencia in August 2011 - and the 25-year-old feels right at home in the 'Big Smoke'.

Mata, who lives in an apartment on the banks of the river Thames, is a big fan of the English capital and told Sky Sports News' Special Report exactly what he loves about London.

"Since I came I felt like was living at home in this amazing city," he said. "I always wanted to live in London. It's one of the best cities in the world.

"It's much bigger than I expected - like different cities together in one. It has different parts and there are a lot of places to go.

"I'd rather go to small places and streets like in Notting Hill and Soho rather than Big Ben or the London Eye - I like the east Brick Lane and Borough market.

The Spain international also insists the British weather has failed to put a dampener on his love of London life, adding: "I grew up in Asturias in northern Spain and it's very much the same weather!"

Mata is also quick to reveal another of the reasons he came to London - Spain and Chelsea team-mate Fernando Torres.

"He (Torres) was calling me, trying to get me here," Mata added. "He knew I would enjoy it here. I am grateful to him - he was an important part to why I came."

But it is football that is Mata's main reason for being in London - and he is loving life in England as much on the pitch as he is off it.

"It's been incredible," he said. "It was my first season in another country and we won the Champions League and the FA Cup. It was amazing. I learnt a lot and grew as a person.

"Winning Chelsea player of the year - and being nominated by the Chelsea supporters - it made my year completely perfect. Winning those trophies and being named player of the year - it was a perfect season for me.

"One thing that makes English football different is the support - you can feel it, you can smell it," Mata said. "Even when you play away, you don't feel alone. I think it's the one of the reasons why English football is so special."