Unai Emery is looking for his fourth Europa League win as a coach as his Villarreal side take on Manchester United in the final on May 26.
Villarreal reached their first major final when they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the semi-finals of Europa League. They will take on Manchester United in the final on May 26th at Gdansk. Villarreal head coach Unai Emery is aiming for his fourth Europa League title, having won the title previously with Sevilla. The Spanish coach took charge of the Yellow Submarines last year as they had just finished fifth in the La Liga Santander. Meanwhile, they finished this campaign seventh after losing to Real Madrid in their final league match.
The 49-year old coach was appointed to win trophies and qualify for Champions League. He could still achieve both in one attempt if they beat the Red Devils in the final on Wednesday.
“We respect United but we think we’re capable of winning this trophy,” said Emery last week. “We are going to play with the confidence we’ve shown throughout the whole competition.”
Whereas a defeat would mean double disappointment for them after another trophy-less season and as they haven’t qualified for Europa League via La Liga after finishing in the seventh spot.
Unai Emery will be taking part in his fifth Europa League final after winning three consecutive trophies with Sevilla between 2014-2016 and taking Arsenal to the final two years ago.
The Villarreal head coach has had more success than any other coach in the recent history of Europa League.
“Villarreal have reached the Europa League semis three times before so if we hadn’t got to the final again it would have been hard for us,” said the club”s former midfielder Marcos Senna, who was in the team that won the Intertoto Cup 17 years ago.
“Manchester United are clear favourites because of their history and their budget. We’ve snuck through the back door a bit but if they play well, I think they can spring a surprise.”
“Manchester United were the favourites from the start to win this tournament and they’ve managed to reach the final,” said Emery.
“There were other teams who were favourites and haven’t done that but we have always seen ourselves as a contender.”
Out of the four finalists in this season’s European competitions, three are from England. Manchester City will play Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29.
If Villarreal could upset Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side it would be seventh Europa League title for a Spanish team in the last ten years.
“The Premier League is dominating football in Europe,” Emery said. “But to reach a final you always have to knock out big teams, or teams that have knocked out big teams themselves, like Dinamo Zagreb. Games like these are a challenge. They tell you what level your team is at.”