Mateta’s seven goals since signing in January 2021 have begun to write his name into club history, with a few of those efforts coming in key games. Two, of course, ensured Palace beat Brighton and Millwall respectively – adding affirmation to cult hero status.
But there’s more to it than just stats and performances. Mateta also has the popularity, the fan relationship, the turnaround in form and, now, the chant.
Before we get into those, our No.14 wants to share a message with supporters.
“Can I ask something to the fans?” he says mid-interview. “When I hit the corner flag I want them to say 'BOOM!'"
Take note, Palace fans. Our latest cult hero has asked directly.
Moving on, we sat down with JP to delve into his newly forming cult hero status, covering a few of the key topics that qualify him for such a title.
Here are his views on each.
“I’m popular here?” Mateta starts off by asking modestly, before reflecting on two memorable moments. He says he doesn't see much of the social media praise.
On the Brighton backheel: “I think: ‘I need to score.’ When I saw the ball I thought: ‘I need to do everything to put this ball in the goal.’ I had the defender on my side, and was thinking if I should control the ball or not. I was thinking I needed to shoot in one touch and looked at the ball. I’m prepared for the backheel.
“In training and matches [I’ve scored similar.] With my team in France as well I scored like this.