Juan Mata debut: Can the £37.1m Manchester United midfielder continue his winning debut run against Cardiff City?

Spaniard has won in each of his debuts for new teams and starts tonight

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The Independent Football

Supporters at Old Trafford will be clucking to see the sight of £37.1m record signing Juan Mata in his Manchester United No 8 shirt against Cardiff City tonight - and he has also proved a lucky charm in debuts throughout his career, winning in each of his first matches for new clubs as well as for Spain.

The midfielder made his debut for Valencia back in September 2007 in their 2-1 win at Almeria. Mata joined from Real Madrid during that summer, but he had only appeared for the Real Madrid Castilla side during his spell at the Bernabeu. Mata started the game and played 77 minutes, also starting his victorious debut trend.

After becoming a key member of the Valencia team, the playmaker then made his international bow for Spain in a 1-0 World Cup qualifying triumph over Turkey at the Bernabeu in March 2009, coming on for David Villa after 63 minutes. Gerard Pique scored the only goal of the game three minutes before Mata was introduced.

Mata then moved to Stamford Bridge in August 2011, and quickly become the darling of the Blues' faithful. His debut came in the home Premier League match against Norwich City on 27 August, entering the field as a 68th-minute substitute for Florent Malouda and his debut was capped by scoring the final goal of the 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.