Unai Emery insists making history with Villarreal in the Europa League final is MORE important than ‘settling the score with English football’ as the former Arsenal boss looks to become the first manager to win the European competition for the fourth time
- Unai Emery says making history with Villarreal matters more than proving a point
- Emery may be the first boss to win the European competition for a fourth time
- He says when they are ‘at their best’ they have a chance of beating Man United
Unai Emery said making history with Spanish minnows Villarreal matters more to him than proving another point to English football, as he prepares to take on Manchester United.
The coach Arsenal sacked in 2019 beat his former club in the semi-finals and now has the chance to become the first manager to win the Europa League or UEFA Cup for the fourth time.
Asked if he still had a sense of revenge going into the game he said: ‘No, I owe it to this club and those who have built it up towards this moment. I have no personal score to settle with English football.
Unai Emery said making history with Spanish minnows Villarreal matters more to him than proving another point to English football, as he prepares to take on Manchester United
‘Breaking barriers was the objective when I joined Villarreal and we did that when we got past a semi-final into a final for the first time ever. We are proud of that but we have the responsibility to go one step further. We want to enjoy it, but we want to win it.’
Emery confirmed that winger Samuel Chukwueze will miss the game through injury but that Tottenham loanee Juan Foyth is available for selection.
‘We can’t get away from the reality that they have been the favourites from the start,’ he said of United. ‘But we are candidates. They have good players, a history, but we have possibilities. If we are at our best then we have a chance.’
He could become the first manager to win the Europa League or UEFA Cup for the fourth time
Emery confirmed that winger Samuel Chukwueze (above) will miss the game through injury
Emery talked up the competition ahead of his fifth final and in an interview in Marca admitted once defending its honour to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Emery said he was at a coaches’ meeting in Nyon while Valencia manager and talking up UEFA’s second competition. ‘Ferguson asked me, “But wouldn’t you like to win the Champions League?” And I said, “Yes of course I would, but the Europa League is a place where many teams, fans and players can find important recognition”.’
Well aware of how it is now United that stand between him and a record fourth winner’s medal, Emery said: ‘United have been playing the Europa League for many years, hoping to win it, and sometimes having to win it to reach the Champions League.
‘That’s what has brought the Europa League closer to the Champions League as a competition.’
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