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Juan Mata celebrates World Book Day with Manchester United Foundation

Manchester United star Juan Mata recently took part in activities to celebrate World Book Day as he donated Spanish books to a primary school in Oldham.

| by Haylee Blease

Pupils at Royton Hall Primary School, a feeder primary of Manchester United Foundation partner school The Oldham Academy North, were delighted as the Reds midfielder surprised the class for their weekly Spanish lesson. Mata then played teacher as he quizzed the youngsters on their language skills before handing out personally donated books in which students can read both in English and Spanish to develop their skills.

The school is just one of many across the globe that have been celebrating World Book Day, an annual event to help encourage and inspire children to explore reading.

Mata, a keen reader himself, explained the importance of such initiatives: “I think it’s fantastic to read, it gives you a different perspective of different things, it doesn’t matter what you read as long as you relax with a book or with a magazine. With their Spanish books, the kids can now practice their Spanish, which will help them. I think that’s very important for children to try and speak more languages than their native one.”

He added: “I love to read and when we are in the hotels before the game or on the trips I like to read different types of books that allow me to disconnect and relax, I enjoy it.”

Year 5 pupil Josh shared a Spanish connection with United’s number eight as he and his twin brother were born in Spain before moving to the UK three years ago. He said: “I was born in Malaga and came to live in England in 2015. I was really excited when Juan came in but also so nervous.”

Fellow Year 5 pupil Aimee was excited to meet the United midfielder: “I was really surprised but everyone enjoyed it and had a good time. The book is going to be really helpful in our Spanish lessons, I’m going to read it and bring what I’ve learnt back into school.”