GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 09: Juan Mata of Spain passes the ball as Xabi Alonso looks on during a UEFA EURO 2012 training session at the Municipal Stadium on June 9, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
I saw these quotes yesterday, but never found the time to get them up here with everything else going on. Several media outlets were carrying quotes from Juan Mata, an unused sub throughout the entire group stage of Euro 2012. Here's the interesting part:
I have confirmed with Chelsea that I can play the Olympics. It's something I have agreed with the Spanish federation, and I don't want to change. My dream is to play and win the gold in London. After winning a lot with Chelsea last season, that would be another great honor.
So we've now had reports that Juan Mata, David Luiz, and Daniel Sturridge will all definitely be participating in the 2012 Olympic games. Hulk may well play for Brazil as well, if he's a Chelsea player that would give us 4. Ryan Bertrand seems likely at this point even if we don't yet have confirmation. Oriol Romeu and Ulises Davila also remain in contention for their respective nations.
Playing in the Olympics would mean that these guys will not be making the trip to the United States. As all of these players other than Hulk (potentially) have played under Di Matteo before, I doubt it would have too much impact on their standing with the team. It also would seemingly get them in fine shape for the start of the season, so I'm not really too concerned about any of the group in question. Congratulations Juan, adding an Olympic Gold to your World Cup and Champions League medals would fill out the trophy case nicely.