Mega Mata's 117-match run (that's Juan-hundred and seventeen!) – Chelsea playmaker's incredible non-stop number of games with NO break
and the Olympics leading up to this season's lengthy campaign on the back of a year which saw Chelsea win the Champions League (below) and FA Cup” class=”blkBorder” />
Champion: Mata (centre) played for Spain at Euro 2012 and the Olympics leading up to this season's lengthy campaign on the back of a year which saw Chelsea win the Champions League (below) and FA Cup
NON-STOP MATA'S 117 GAMES
Premier League (2011-2013) 62 games (26 goals)
Champions League (2011-2013) 17 games (4 goals)
FA Cup (2012,2013) 13 games (5 goals)
League Cup (2011-2013) 6 games (2 goals)
Europa League (2013) 4 games (1 goal)
UEFA Super Cup (2012) 1 game
Community Shield (2012) 1 game
Club World Championship (2012) 2 games (1 goal)
London 2012 Olympics 3 games
European Championship Qualifiers (2011) 2 games (1 goal)
World Cup Qualifiers (2013) 2 games
Euro 2012 1 game (1 goal)
International Friendly (2011-2012) 3 games
He joined up with Spain's squad for the victorious Euro 2012 campaign – scoring in the final – before competing for his nation at the London Olympics.
From there, he had just 11 days of pre-season training before this season's Community Shield against Manchester City.
If the last campaign saw some Chelsea players' legs grow weary, this one has been far harder.
both the Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to contend with on
top of their usual commitments, they reached the
semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup.
Chelsea still in
the Europa League, with a semi-final two-legged tie against Basle to come, and they are competing for a top-four finish in the Premier
A win in Wednesday night's
west London derby at Fulham would go some way into achieving the vital
Champions League qualification, seeing them leapfrog Arsenal into third
The match could add see Mata add to
his incredible tally, and the Spaniard fired his troops up to keep up
the pressure as the season heads into the home straight.
Impact start: Mata scored on his Chelsea debut in a 3-1 win over Norwich in August 2011
Changing faces: Mata has played under Andre Villas-Boas (left), Roberto Di Matteo (centre) and Rafa Benitez
In action: Mata will have to recover from Sunday's FA Cup semi-final in order to face Fulham tonight
'We just arrived in the season's most important moment,' he told Chelsea's official website.
'It's been a little time since we played two Premier League games together but we now have the opportunity to get six points.
'It will be difficult against Fulham and at Liverpool as well, but we will try to finish the week with 64 points and in a strong position in the league.
'Hopefully the picture will be clearer after that. With six points it could help us make a gap to our rivals.'