Old Trafford fan favourite Juan Mata believes there is 'no game' that can rival Manchester United vs Liverpool ahead of the eagerly anticipated meeting between the north west neighbours at Anfield on Saturday, admitting that he feels 'very lucky' to have experienced such a rivalry.
"I believe [it is United's biggest game]," Mata told Sky Sports.
"Since I came here I always knew the rivalry was big over the years. Everyone in the training ground, fans in the street, they remind you that Liverpool is the game.
"There is no game like this. Through the history there have been great games, big rivalries, and it is a special game to play in, and we feel very lucky to have the chance to play in these games."
It was only after arriving in England that Mata understood that United vs Liverpool games stood out above all the other big Premier League clashes, though.
"The view from Spain I think is that all of the big Premier League games are viewed similarly. Once you are in England you realise United v Liverpool stands out," he commented.
Ex-United defender Mikael Silvestre described visiting Anfield as like 'going to hell' earlier this week and Mata also respects the hostile atmosphere that Liverpool fans are able to create at their stadium.
"It's tough. It's a tough atmosphere," he said.
"Obviously, the stadium is full of supporters wanting their team to go over us and win. That's what makes football special. Not speaking about violence at all, but about the atmosphere. You have to have personality to play in these games.
"I have pretty good memories from our games against Liverpool. Every United supporter even now, after a few years, remind me of that goal. When you play for United and score at Anfield and win the game, it stays in peoples' minds."