Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata admitted he would gladly take a pay cut if it meant football became less of a business.
Appearing on Spanish news show Salvados, Mata was quizzed about all aspects of his football career – not just what happens on the pitch.
The Spain international said he could empathise with fans who are against modern football as money-hungry owners and officials continue to plague the world game.
“I can understand what [the fans] are referencing. In the business of football, it seems the owners are more important than the supporters,” the 27-year-old said.
“It is nothing like the football of old, where there was not such a media involvement, or people with so many vested interests.
“I don’t enjoy the business side of football. I love the game, I love training and competing. I’d happily take a pay cut if there was less business involvement in the sport.
“At this level we’re very well paid and sometimes you get to thinking that there really isn’t much of a difference between x and x+3.”
Mata admitted he earns an “obscene” amount of money compared to the real world and revealed it concerns him about just how protected he is.
“My first professional contract was at Real Madrid Castilla. I was 18-years-old and I think I earned something like 90,000 euros a year,” he said.
“Football is very well remunerated at this level. It’s like we live in a bubble. With respect to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It’s unfathomable.
“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 an obscene amount.
“I live in [a bubble]. Real life is the one my friends live. They’ve had to look for work, sign on to the dole and emigrate. That’s normal life now. My life as a footballer is not normal.
“It scares me sometimes to think about just how protected I am. The smallest problem and someone will come and fix it for me. That’s one of the aspects in which we don’t live a normal life.”
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