Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata’s mother has died after a battle with serious illness.
Spanish publication La Nueva Espana reported that Marta Garcia passed away on Monday after a battle against an illness that had lasted for several months.
The 32-year-old Spanish World Cup winner wrote: “My mother has always been more worried about my physical wellbeing during a match than the result.
“Heaven knows how she would cope if I were, say, a free skier.
“But for all that she gets rather nervous during games, she still doesn’t miss a single one. She’s even gone so far as to send me text messages during a game.
“She’s fully aware of the fact that, obviously, I can’t see it, so I imagine that she does it as a kind of release mechanism for her worry and sometimes frustration.
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“Whenever I had a knock, or I looked slightly injured during a game, the first message on my phone is hers. ‘Are you OK? Tell me something when you can.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago