Juan Mata left Chelsea as a two-time player of the year on Saturday night after the Blues sold him to Manchester United.
His departure from Stamford Bridge brought to an end a stellar two-and-a-half year stay for the Spain international who enjoyed a rich relationship with the club’s fans.
The 25-year-old heads north as a Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup winner and despite heading to a club Chelsea fans consider as bitter rivals, he wrote a letter to them to explain the move.
Here, The Star picks out some of the choice quotes from his lengthy goodbye.
“This letter is written from my heart, and first of all I would like to say that I will never forget all the affection given to me by the Chelsea fans. From the very first day until the last. With your support and affection I have grown up as a player and I have had an amazing time both on and off the pitch. I will always feel the gratitude towards you. Always. No words are enough to give back all the things I have received.
“There have been plenty of good moments: the FA Cup, my first trophy as a Blue; the immense happiness of winning titles for the first time in the club’s history, such as that magical Champions League night in Munich and the Europa League.”