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Former Man Utd FA Cup winner left unemployed after playing just TEN minutes this season

JUAN MATA is unemployed after playing just ten minutes of football for Vissel Kobe.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United playmaker, 35, only joined the Japanese outfit in September.

Juan Mata has left Vissel Kobe after his short-term contract expired

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Juan Mata has left Vissel Kobe after his short-term contract expiredCredit: Getty

His solitary appearance came as a late substitute in a 2-0 defeat away at Sanfrecce Hiroshima on September 16.

Vissel Kobe did, though, finish top of the J1 League in 2023 as the club won their first-ever national title.

And despite his limited impact which included five games as an unused sub, Mata did receive a winner’s medal for his efforts.

However, the Spaniard only signed a four-month contract in Japan.

And he confirmed he has left the club to become a free agent again as he considers his future.

Mata said: “I would like to sincerely thank all my team-mates, staff, and supporters with whom I have spent the past few months.

“I am very happy to have been part of the club’s historic moment in winning the league for the first time.

“I will never forget the memories we spent together.

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“I hope that you will continue to have the greatest happiness. Muchas gracias.”

Art fanatic Mata may not have made too much of an impact in Kobe’s successful title tilt – but certainly lapped up the celebrations.

He took to Instagram in November to share photos of him getting his hands on the trophy and wrote: “J1 CHAMPIONS 🏆🔴⚪️⚫️

“Wasn’t able to win a domestic league in fifteen years and now two in six months. Keep them coming! 🤷🏻‍♂️😅🙏🍀”

Mata was referencing the 2022-23 Turkish Super Lig crown he won in his one season at Galatasaray.

He scored three goals in 16 appearances as the Istanbul giants pipped Fenerbahce and Besiktas to their 23rd league title.

Previously, Mata had always come up short in the Premier League for Chelsea and United as well as for Valencia in LaLiga.

However, the popular playmaker – who racked up 135 and 285 appearances for the Blues and Red Devils respectively – did win the FA Cup and Europa League with both of his English clubs.

He also secured the Champions League at Chelsea and the League Cup for United on top of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 for Spain.

The Spanish World Cup winner lifted the FA Cup with Manchester United in 2016

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The Spanish World Cup winner lifted the FA Cup with Manchester United in 2016Credit: Getty – Contributor

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