Unai Emery

Unai Emery
Unai Emery at Baku before 2019 UEFA Europe League Final.jpg
Emery coaching Arsenal in 2019
Personal information
Full name Unai Emery Etxegoien[1]
Date of birth (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971 (age 49)[1]
Place of birth Hondarribia, Spain
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Villarreal (head coach)
Youth career
1986–1990[2] Real Sociedad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–1995 Real Sociedad B 89 (8)
1995–1996 Real Sociedad 5 (1)
1996–2000 Toledo 126 (2)
2000–2002 Racing Ferrol 61 (7)
2002–2003 Leganés 28 (0)
2003–2004 Lorca Deportiva 30 (1)
Total 339 (18)
Teams managed
2004–2006 Lorca Deportiva
2006–2008 Almería
2008–2012 Valencia
2012 Spartak Moscow
2013–2016 Sevilla
2016–2018 Paris Saint-Germain
2018–2019 Arsenal
2020– Villarreal
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Unai Emery Etxegoien (Spanish pronunciation: [uˈnaj ˈemeɾi]; born 3 November 1971) is a Spanish football coach and former player who is the head coach of La Liga side Villarreal.

After a career spent playing mostly in Spain's Segunda División, Emery transitioned into coaching after retiring in 2004. He began at Lorca Deportiva, where he achieved promotion to the Segunda División in his first season. He then joined Almería, who he led to promotion to La Liga for the first time in the club's history. He subsequently moved to Valencia, leading the team to top-three finishes. After leaving Valencia, he coached Spartak Moscow for six months, before moving to Sevilla in 2013.

At Sevilla, Emery won an unprecedented three consecutive Europa Leagues, and moved to French club Paris Saint-Germain in 2016. There, he won a Ligue 1 title, two Coupe de France titles, two Coupe de la Ligues, and two Trophée des Champions, which included a domestic quadruple in his second season.[3] After the expiry of his contract, Emery was appointed as head coach of English club Arsenal in 2018, succeeding Arsène Wenger. He finished Europa League runner-up in his first season, before being dismissed in November 2019 after a series of poor results. He was hired by Villarreal in July 2020, where he won the Europa League in his first season.

Early life and playing career

Emery was born in Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country.[4][5] His father and grandfather, named Juan and Antonio respectively, were also footballers, both goalkeepers. The former appeared for several clubs in the second tier, while the latter competed with Real Unión in the top division.[6][7][8] Emery's uncle, Román, played as a midfielder.[9][10]

Emery, a left-sided midfielder, was a youth graduate of Real Sociedad, but never really broke into the first team (aged 24 he appeared in five La Liga games, scoring against Albacete Balompié in an 8–1 home win).[11] After that, he resumed his career mostly in the Segunda División, amassing totals of 215 matches and nine goals over seven seasons.

He retired with Lorca Deportiva CF at the age of 32, after one season in Segunda División B.

Coaching career

Lorca and Almería

Emery with Almería

Emery suffered a serious knee injury while at Lorca in the 2004–05 season, and he was offered the vacant coaches position by the club president. He immediately helped the club achieve promotion to the second division for the first time in its history,[6] as well as beating top level side Málaga in the Copa del Rey. He was subsequently awarded the Miguel Muñoz Trophy as coach of the season. In his second season, the Murcians' first ever in the second division, the team finished fifth with 69 points, only five points off promotion to the top flight;[12] they suffered relegation in 2007, after Emery's departure.

Emery then moved to Almería in division two,[13] and again helped his squad overachieve: after guiding them to a first ever promotion in 2007,[14] the Andalusian side finished eighth in La Liga in 2007–08.[15] This prompted a move to Valencia, where he succeeded Ronald Koeman as coach.[16]


In 2008–09, his first season with Los Che, Emery led them to a sixth-place finish, with subsequent qualification to the UEFA Europa League, in spite of the club's serious financial problems. The team reached the Round of 32 in the UEFA Cup, a 3–3 aggregate loss against Dynamo Kyiv, and the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, exiting against Sevilla.

In 2009–10, Emery led Valencia to third place, so the club returned to the UEFA Champions League after two years. After dropping down to Europa League (previously known as UEFA Cup), they lost in the quarter-finals to eventual winners Atlético Madrid on away goals, and exited in the round of 16 in the Copa del Rey against Deportivo La Coruña, losing 4–3 on aggregate. In May 2010, Emery renewed his contract for another year.[17]

2010–11 started without David Villa and David Silva, sold to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. Despite this, Valencia won five out of the first six league games (with one draw), starting the Champions League campaign with a 4–0 win in Turkey against Bursaspor,[18] before being eliminated in the round of 16 by Schalke, and being knocked out in the same stage in the Copa del Rey by Villarreal. In the domestic league, the side finished third, thus again qualifying for the Champions League.

In 2011–12, Emery's side entered the Champions League and were paired with Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk. They finished third in their group and subsequently entered the Europa League. Valencia lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Atlético Madrid again. He left the club in June 2012, after again finishing third in 2011–12, ensuring Valencia's qualification for Champions League.[19]

Spartak Moscow

On 13 May 2012, Leonid Fedun, owner of Spartak Moscow, announced Emery as the Russian club's coach for the following two seasons.[20] On 25 November he was sacked after a run of poor results, after only managing the side for six months. His last game in charge was a 1–5 derby home loss against Dynamo Moscow.[21]


Emery with Sevilla in 2015

Emery returned to Spanish football on 14 January 2013, replacing the sacked Míchel at the helm of Sevilla.[22] He led the club to fifth position in 2013–14, his first full season. On 14 May 2014, he won the Europa League final, defeating Benfica on penalties.[23]

After finishing the 2014–15 season in fifth place, one point behind former club Valencia, Emery again won the Europa League after defeating Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk,[24] thus qualifying for the following Champions League.[25] The victory meant that Sevilla became the most successful club in the history of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, with four wins,[26] and Emery signed a one-year contract extension on 5 June 2015 which would have kept him at the club until 2017, after reported interest from West Ham United and Napoli.[27]

In 2015–16 Emery led Sevilla to seventh position, having played the final games of the domestic league with several reserves and youth team players after the team confirmed their place in the Europa League final.[28][29] This season, Sevilla entered the UEFA Champions League group stage as title holders of UEFA Europa League the previous season, they were third in the group and transferred to UEFA Europa League again. On 18 May 2016, despite trailing 1–0 at half-time, a goal from Kevin Gameiro and two from Coke resulted in a 3–1 victory over Liverpool at St. Jakob-Park in Basel.[30]

On 12 June 2016, after Emery expressed his desire to leave Sevilla, the club announced that they would be parting ways.[31]

Paris Saint-Germain

On 28 June 2016, Emery signed a two-year deal, with the option of a third, to succeed Laurent Blanc at French quadruple-holders Paris Saint-Germain.[32] In his first competitive match in charge, on 6 August, his side beat Lyon 4–1 in Austria to lift the Trophée des Champions.[33]

Emery led PSG to second place in their group of the Champions League, behind Arsenal. In the first knockout round they defeated Barcelona 4–0 at the Parc des Princes,[34] only to historically lose 1–6 in Spain and subsequently be eliminated.[35]

In the next Champions League season, PSG finished top of their group, in which Emery led them to a 3–0 win over Bayern Munich in the second match.[36] However, they were knocked out in the round of 16, as they lost both legs by the eventual winner Real Madrid.[37]

On 1 April, he picked up his second honour with les Rouge-et-Bleu with a 4–1 win over title rivals Monaco in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue.[38] On 28 April 2018, Emery announced his decision to leave the Parisian club at the end of the season with a year left on his contract.[39] He was replaced by German coach Thomas Tuchel at PSG following the conclusion of the 2017–18 season.[40]


Emery with Arsenal in 2019

On 23 May 2018, Emery was appointed head coach of Arsenal.[41] He agreed to a two-year deal, with the club having the option to extend his deal for a further year.[42]

In his first competitive game in charge, on 12 August, his side lost to Manchester City 2–0 in the Premier League.[43] After a second consecutive loss to Chelsea on 18 August,[44] Emery recorded his first win as Arsenal manager on 25 August, in a 3–1 home win over West Ham United.[45] After this game, Arsenal won 11 games in a row, their best run of form since 2007.[46] Arsenal then extended their unbeaten run to 22 games, including a 4–2 win over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Emery's first North London derby.[47] Their 3–2 loss to Southampton in December was the first time they had been defeated in all competitions since August.[48] However Arsenal capitulated towards the end of the season, only receiving 4 points in their last 5 league matches, effectively discarding any chance of qualifying for the Champions League through league position.[49] Emery yet again reached a Europa League final,[50] but was unsuccessful as Arsenal were beaten 4–1 by fellow English side Chelsea.[51] Arsenal finished the season in fifth position, one place higher than the previous season, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot.[52]

In the 2019 summer transfer window, Emery broke Arsenal's previous club record by signing Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pépé.[53] He also brought into the defence David Luiz from rivals Chelsea and Scotsman Kieran Tierney from Celtic, as well as midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.[54]

On 29 November 2019, following a series of poor results and a winless run of seven games, Emery was sacked by Arsenal.[55][56] His final game in charge was a 2–1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.[57] He was replaced on an interim basis by Freddie Ljungberg and later on a permanent basis by Mikel Arteta.


On 23 July 2020, Emery was announced as the new head coach of La Liga side Villarreal, succeeding Javier Calleja on a three-year deal.[58] On 23 December, he broke the club record of 18 matches unbeaten, after a 1–1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao.[59]

In May 2021, he led Villarreal to their first European final, after a 2–1 win on aggregate over his former club Arsenal in the semi-finals;[60] he was the first ex-Gunners boss to beat his former team since George Graham in 1999.[61] On 26 May, Villarreal won the Europa League final against Manchester United in Gdańsk, 11–10 on penalties after a 1–1 draw, to give him his fourth and a record win in the competition.[62][63]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 26 May 2021[64]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref.
P W D L Win %
Lorca Deportiva 21 December 2004 22 June 2006 70 34 16 20 048.6 [65]
Almería 22 June 2006 22 May 2008 84 39 20 25 046.4 [66]
Valencia 22 May 2008 14 May 2012 220 107 58 55 048.6 [67]
Spartak Moscow 14 May 2012 25 November 2012 26 12 4 10 046.2
Sevilla 14 January 2013 12 June 2016 205 106 43 56 051.7 [68]
Paris Saint-Germain 28 June 2016 14 May 2018 114 87 15 12 076.3
Arsenal 23 May 2018 29 November 2019 78 43 16 19 055.1 [69]
Villarreal 23 July 2020 Present 58 32 15 11 055.2 [70]
Total 855 460 187 208 053.8


Emery and Sevilla after winning the UEFA Europa League in 2014



Paris Saint-Germain




See also


  1. ^ a b c "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien: Manager". BDFutbol. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Emery: "¿La Real? Me debo al Sevilla, pero mis orígenes no los olvido"" [Real? I owe much to Sevilla, but I haven't forgotten my origins] (in Spanish). Cadena SER. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  3. ^ Rémi Dupré (28 May 2017). "Football: vers une deuxième saison au PSG pour l'entraîneur Unai Emery?" [Football: second season in sight at PSG for coach Unai Emery?]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  4. ^ "El incordio de Hondarribia" [The nuisance from Hondarribia]. El País (in Spanish). 18 September 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Emery, de Hondarribia a pelear por la Champions" [Emery, from Hondarribia to fighting for the Champions]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 7 March 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Emery asciende al Lorca contra la saga familiar" [Emery promotes Lorca against family saga]. El País (in Spanish). 27 June 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Emery: hijo de portero, padre de entrenador" [Emery: son of a goalkeeper, father of a coach]. La Nueva España (in Spanish). 5 June 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Muere el padre de Unai Emery" [The father of Unai Emery dies]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  9. ^ "La dinastía de los Emery" [Emery dynasty]. El Comercio (in Spanish). 15 November 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Vidas cruzadas en la saga de los Emery" [Crossed paths in Emery saga]. El País (in Spanish). 20 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  11. ^ "La Real se desmelena" [Real go crazy]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 13 May 1996. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Un éxito del Lorca de Emery" [Success of Emery's Lorca]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). 18 June 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Unai Emery, ya en Almería" [Unai Emery, in Almería as of now] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 22 June 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Almería, 27 años después" [Almería, 27 years later]. El País (in Spanish). 20 May 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  15. ^ "La juerga del Almería agrava la 'depre' perica" [Almería's party worsens parakeet 'depre']. Diario AS (in Spanish). 19 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  16. ^ Emery to take on Valencia challenge; UEFA.com, 22 May 2008
  17. ^ "Unai Emery renueva su contrato con el Valencia" [Unai Emery renews his contract with Valencia] (in Spanish). RTVE. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  18. ^ "El Valencia sale líder del infierno turco" [Valencia emerge leader from Turkish hell]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 14 September 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  19. ^ "El Valencia se asegura la tercera posición" [Valencia confirm third place] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 6 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Spartak name Emery new coach". FIFA.com. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Spartak dismiss Emery after derby defeat". Soccerway. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  22. ^ Míchel es destituido y deja paso a Emery, que firma hasta Junio de 2014 (Míchel is sacked and makes way for Emery, who signs until June 2014) Archived 10 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine; Sevilla FC, 14 January 2013 (in Spanish)
  23. ^ "Sevilla 0–0 Benfica". BBC Sport. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  24. ^ a b Rose, Gary (27 May 2015). "Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2–3 Sevilla". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Spain to have five clubs in Champions League". UEFA.com. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Sevilla out on their own in all-time standings". UEFA.com. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  27. ^ "Unai Emery rejects West Ham to stay at Sevilla". All Sports News. June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Emery: "Estamos con ilusión intacta en tres competiciones pero no hemos conseguido nada"" [Emery: "We are as hungry as can be in three competitions but we have not achieved anything"] (in Spanish). Europa Press. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Emery cita a 19 jugadores para Bilbao con cinco del filial" [Emery summons 19 players to Bilbao with five from the reserves]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 13 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  30. ^ "Sevilla make it three in row at Liverpool's expense". UEFA.com. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  31. ^ "El Sevilla anuncia la marcha de Emery y confirma la llegada de Sampaoli" [Sevilla announce departure of Emery and confirm Sampaoli's arrival]. Marca (in Spanish). 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Unai Emery named coach of PSG in succession to Laurent Blanc". The Guardian. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  33. ^ a b "New-look Paris Saint-Germain rout Lyon to win Trophee des Champions". ESPN FC. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain 4–0 Barcelona: Angel Di Maria stars as PSG take commanding first-leg lead". Sky Sports. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Barcelona shatter PSG as Roberto caps absurd 6–1 comeback win". The Guardian. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Bayern Munich - As it happened!". Bundesliga. 2018.
  37. ^ "Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Real Madrid (agg: 2-5): Champions League – as it happened". The Guardian. 7 March 2018.
  38. ^ a b "PSG thrash Monaco to lift French League Cup for fourth year in a row". France 24. 2 April 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  39. ^ "Unai Emery: 'A great experience'".
  40. ^ "Paris St-Germain: Thomas Tuchel replaces Unai Emery as manager". BBC. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  41. ^ "Welcome Unai". Arsenal. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  42. ^ "Arsenal confirm Emery appointment as Wenger successor". Goal.com. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  43. ^ "Arsenal 0–2 Man City: Unai Emery's opener is a reality check for Arsenal". BBC Sport. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  44. ^ "Chelsea 3–2 Arsenal: Marcos Alonso scores late to give Chelsea victory". BBC Sport. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  45. ^ "Arsenal 3–1 West Ham United". BBC Sport. 25 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  46. ^ "Unai Emery not thinking about breaking Arsenal records after 11th straight win". Sky Sports. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Unai Emery praises 'special' comeback". BBC Sport. 2 December 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  48. ^ "Southampton 3–2 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 16 December 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  49. ^ "Arsenal FC - Fixtures & Results 2018/2019". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  50. ^ Steve Sutcliffe (9 May 2019). "Valencia 2–4 Arsenal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  51. ^ "Chelsea win the 2019 UEFA Europa League".
  52. ^ "Premier League 2018-19 review: our predictions versus reality". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  53. ^ "Arsenal confirm signing of Nicolas Pépé from Lille in £72m club-record deal".
  54. ^ "Premier League ins and outs: The 2019 summer transfer window moves". Sky Sports. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  55. ^ "Unai Emery leaves club". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  56. ^ "Unai Emery: Arsenal sack boss after 18 months in charge". BBC News. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  57. ^ "Arsenal sack Unai Emery and appoint Ljungberg as interim head coach". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  58. ^ "Unai Emery: Villarreal appoint former Arsenal manager". BBC Sport. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  59. ^ "Unai Emery Breaks Unbeaten Club Record at Villareal". Football España. 23 December 2020.
  60. ^ "Arsenal vs Villarreal: Final score and reactions: Villarreal into Europa League final". Marca. 6 May 2021.
  61. ^ Wright, Nick (30 April 2021). "Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe's penalty gives 10-man Gunners a Europa League lifeline against Villarreal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  62. ^ a b "Villarreal 1-1 Manchester United (aet, 11-10 pens): Spanish side win Europa League in marathon shoot-out". UEFA. 26 May 2021.
  63. ^ "Villarreal Capture Maiden Europa League Title Following Penalty Shootout Win Over Manchester United". beIN Sports. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  64. ^ Unai Emery at Soccerway
  65. ^ "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  66. ^ "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
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    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  68. ^ "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
    "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  69. ^ "Welcome Unai". Arsenal. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  70. ^ "Emery: Unai Emery Etxegoien". BDFutbol. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  71. ^ "Spot-on Sevilla leave Benfica dreams in tatters". UEFA.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  72. ^ "Liverpool 1–3 Sevilla". BBC.com.
  73. ^ "PSG clinch Ligue 1 title by thrashing Monaco". Goal.com.
  74. ^ "Angers 0–1 Paris Saint Germain". BBC.com.
  75. ^ Bevan, Chris (29 May 2019). "Chelsea 4–1 Arsenal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  76. ^ Emery, protagonista a nivel nacional (Emery, a national protagonist) Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine; at UD Almería (in Spanish)
  77. ^ Premios BBVA a los mejores de marzo (BBVA Awards for best in March); Liga de Fútbol Profesional, 7 April 2014 (in Spanish)
  78. ^ Unai Emery, Liga BBVA manager of the month for January; Liga de Fútbol Profesional, 5 February 2015
  79. ^ "Unai Emery wins the UNFP Manager of the Year Award". Retrieved 14 May 2018.

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