The Spanish midfielder believes his teammate can live up to his growing repuation
The 19-year-old striker scored the winning goal in England’s 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Monday night and earned the praise of his manager Gareth Southgate.
Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo has touted the Red Devils striker as a potential future winner of the award, having caught the eye for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Rashford has enjoyed a bright start to the season with United by registering one goal and one assist in the opening three fixtures of the campaign.
And Mata revealed he always believed Rashford would produce on the biggest stage when given the opportunity.
“I’m not surprised,” Mata told talkSPORT.
“Since the first moment we saw him in training, we thought he was something special.
“And he’s making it real. He’s scoring for England, for us [Manchester United] and he has been a really good player and a real threat for opposition defenders.
“I think he can be even bigger. He has a great mentality and great qualities to become a big, big player.”
Juan Mata was speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester about his work with Common Goal and pledging one per cent of his earnings to charity.