The ex-Valencia star was a mainstay in cup competitions in Spain. He scored within the fourth minute against Getafe in the 2008 Copa del Rey final at the age of 20 helping set Los Che on their way to winning their latest victory in the tournament.
He scored the first goal in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Portsmouth in the FA Cup Third Round to set the Blues on their way to the final as well. And after many months and many fixtures, they finally get to face Liverpool at Wembley hoping to secure their seventh FA Cup trophy.
"It was a different feeling because the FA Cup is a special tournament here with a lot of tradition and a lot of history," Mata told the Chelsea website. "And for me to score in my first game in the FA Cup was amazing.
"It was a good crowd and a different atmosphere and we felt from the first game against Portsmouth, through the rounds until Wembley, that the atmosphere was amazing.
"The game was not easy and for lower division teams an opportunity to play against Chelsea or another big club is always one of their best games of the season, so we always have to be aware of this."
Roberto di Matteo's first game in charge was against Birmingham in the FA Cup Fifth Round replay. Mata was again crucial as he scored a goal in the match. He also missed a penalty in the game after Fernando Torres famously chose to allow his compatriot to take it instead of opting to break his goal drought.
Mata revealed that the squad was inspired in that particular game with the aim of pleasing not just the new manager but also in order to give the recently axed Ande Villas-Boas a mark of their respect.
"From the first moment we were focused on winning because for us by now the FA Cup was very important for our season, and as well for Andre and Robbie, both managers. We want to win this tournament for both of them because we started with Andre and got through two rounds with him.
"In Birmingham we played well. I had another penalty saved by the same keeper but I scored the first goal so it was a good game and Raul scored a great goal into the corner."
Mata was also at the centre of controversy in the semi-final of the tournament when he scored a 'ghost' goal against Tottenham. He was awarded a goal but camera replays showed that the ball had not crossed the line. But Mata said that he enjoyed the game despite the incident and was happy to see his team-mates grab some goals and reach the final.
He also revealed that he particularly enjoyed the atmosphere at the Wembley stadium and he looks forward to returning there on Saturday.
"I really enjoyed the game [against Tottenham], more in the second half because I had a lot of space to assist my team-mates and us scoring five goals against a team like Tottenham is amazing.
"I was surprised about Wembley and the supporters because the crowd and the atmosphere was amazing. Everything went right, beginning with the fantastic goal by Didier who opened the game for us. It was one of my best games here and I wish the final to be even better.
"I have played in the Copa del Rey Final in Spain and that and the FA Cup are the main cups in England and in Spain, but they are different because the FA Cup plays on weekends whereas in Spain it is in the middle of the week - but a final is a final and the 2008 Copa del Rey Final with Valencia was amazing because we beat Getafe 3-1 and I scored the first goal of the game.
"So I have been lucky with the final in the Spain and I wish to be the same here."
Chelsea play Liverpool in what will be their 11th FA Cup final appearance. Should they win, they will equal Liverpool and Aston Villa's record of seven FA Cup victories.