JUAN Mata says he never dwelt on his penalty miss in last season's Champions League final shoot-out, because winning the trophy was one of the best moments of his life.
The Spaniard, who has had an outstanding season and was short-listed for the PFA player of the year award, missed the opening kick against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.
But it all worked out all right in the end, with Didier Drogba's kick wrapping up an amazing night.
“I will have no problem to take one again,” Mata said. “The important thing in the end was that we won. I didn't think we'd lose when I missed anyway because I had so much confidence in Petr Cech.
“Thinking about last season, it was probably one of the best moments of my life, winning the Champions League and now we have another chance to win a European trophy, to play two European finals in a row. So, we'll try to feel what we felt last season.”
Mata says that all the talk of tiredness after a long season and of the Europa League being no more than a consolation after missing out on the bigger prize, will be redundant in the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday night.
“When we went out of the Champions league, it was a hard moment for us, because we wanted to win again,” he said. “But as long as you are close to a final, you realise you can win a European trophy and it becomes more important.
“I'm just looking forward to playing. At some times during the season, it has been mentally tiring, but right now it's easy because you are close to winning a title and you're ending the season, so it's easier to be focused.
“I think the final is 50-50. I don't know if we have greater experience of big matches. Benfica, in their history, have played a lot of finals and playing in this game, it's because they deserve it.”
Mata added: “If we do it and finish fourth, I think it will be a great season for us. I think this has probably been my best season in terms of assists and scoring, but I wish that next season will be even better.”