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Mata eyes gold medal to end 'perfect summer'

ESPN staff
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Juan Mata scored in the Euro 2012 final © PA Photos
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Juan Mata wants to complete the "perfect summer" with gold at the London Olympics following Spain's success at Euro 2012.

Mata could claim his fourth winner's medal of the season at the Games, after Chelsea triumphed in the Champions League and FA Cup last term. The 24-year-old, who also won the 2010 World Cup with the national team, insists the task will not be easy as Spain aim for their first Olympic gold medal in football since 1992.

"Spain have won in recent years because behind the success there is sacrifice and a lot of hard work, and this is a good path to follow," Mata said.

"Personally I've had a fantastic season, and if we win, it would be a perfect summer and a first season in England in which I couldn't have asked for more."

Luis Milla's squad, which also includes Jordi Alba, Javi Martinez and David de Gea are firm favourites heading into London, but Mata moved to play down expectations ahead of the Games.

"It seems that we must win the gold without even playing first, and that's not the case. There are other very strong teams, who have squads that can challenge for the title.

"We have to be isolated from these expectations about winning. We want to do as well as possible, but we know that it will be difficult," Mata said.

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