Juan Mata has revealed the "complicated situations from a personal point of view, mainly during the last six months" that led him to the £37.1m move from Chelsea to Manchester United on Saturday.
In an open letter written on his personal website Mata offered an extended thank you to Chelsea and the club's fans. The 25-year-old, who was Chelsea's player of the season for the past two seasons, entitling the message: "I will never forget my time in Chelsea: thank you!"
Mata touched upon his difficulties in being dropped by José Mourinho, the manager. "There has been plenty of good moments: the FA Cup, my first trophy as a Blue, the immense happiness of winning titles for the first time in the club's history, such as that magical Champions League night in Munich and the Europa League," he said.
"On the other hand, I have experienced some complicated situations from a personal point of view, mainly during the last six months. Every message I got through the social media, every nice word you have said to me on the street, and of course, your support in the stadium, has made me feel incredibly proud of the Chelsea fans; you deserve a team like the one you've got, with so many fantastic players.
The Spanish playmaker added: "I won't forget the faith you put in me when I was given the player of the year award the last two seasons. I feel really proud and I will never forget those nights. Thank you so much for the way you have treated me, you have been unbelievable. I hope you understand that after going through a complicated and, for me, new situation in the last few months, I believe this is the best choice in order to carry on with my football career and to keep enjoying this sport."
Despite Mourinho's view of Mata leading him to leave Chelsea to further his career, Mata still thanked the Portuguese manager. "To José, for making me a stronger player, because in difficult moments, I have learnt to remain positive and to keep working hard," he said.