Football: We are paid 'obscene' salaries and live in a bubble, says a reflective Mata

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata admitted that footballers earn "obscene" amounts of money and "live in a bubble".
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata admitted that footballers earn "obscene" amounts of money and "live in a bubble". PHOTO: EPA

Reuters - Manchester United's Spanish international midfielder Juan Mata has admitted in an interview that he and other professional footballers earn "obscene" amounts of money and "live in a bubble".

Mata, who signed for Manchester United from Chelsea for a reported £37 million pounds (S$72.3 million) in 2014, is believed to earn around £150,000 a week.

"Football is very well remunerated at this level. It's like we live in a bubble. Compared to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It's unfathomable," Mata said in an interview on Spanish television programme Salvados, broadcast on Sunday.

"With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9 per cent of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn a silly amount."

The Spain international also said he sympathised with critics of the modern game, who claim football has become too commercialised and criticise the attitude of some young players who become arrogant after turning professional.

"I can understand what they're talking about. The business side of football makes it seem as though the owners are now more important than the fans," the 27-year-old added.

"Every player thinks he's Diego Maradona when he joins a big club. That happens to all of us but then you notice it in the younger players.

"You see kids who think they're rock stars; wearing extravagant clothes and driving flashy cars... sometimes you have to take them aside and have a word."

Mata added: "I don't enjoy the business side of football. I love the game. I love training and competing.

"I'd take a pay cut if there was less business involvement in the sport. At this level, we're very well paid and sometimes you start thinking there isn't much of a difference between x and x+3."