Five things you might not know about Unai Emery

Although the Villarreal CF coach is a well-known name in the world of football, here are five things you might not know about the Basque tactician. His grandfather conceded the first ever LaLiga goalLaLiga was launched way back in 1929, with the inaugural match being RCD Espanyol vs Real Unión Irún on February 10th.

Remarkably, the Irún goalkeeper that day was a certain Antonio Emery, Unai’s grandfather. Unfortunately for Antonio, he went down in history as the man who conceded the first ever LaLiga goal to Pitus Prat as RCD Espanyol won 3-2. Unai’s father – and Antonio’s son – Juan Emery, also played as a goalkeeper for Real Unión Irún, amongst other clubs.

He once selected his starting line-up by rolling dice. After a modest playing career, Emery took to coaching and quickly guided UD Almería to Spain’s top division for the first time in their history.

Their first game at LaLiga Santander level was against RC Deportivo and Emery, keen to show his squad how he trusted them no matter which XI started the match, rolled dice to determine his line-up.

Unai Emery – Villarreal CF

And it worked! The Andalusians won 3-0 on the day to make the perfect start to their top-flight history. He is the coach with the most Europa League titles Emery’s greatest achievements as a coach came with Sevilla FC when he won three consecutive Europa League titles in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The honour of winning it three times in a row is his and his alone. He has since won the tournament a fourth time with Villarreal CF, making him the most successful manager in the history of the competition.

He has a song dedicated to him

When Sevilla FC reached one of those Europa League finals, some fans of the Andalusian club came up with their own version of a song performed by Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias, ‘El Perdón’. The coach even shared a video on Twitter of some Sevilla FC fans singing the new lyrics: “Without you, Emery, I couldn’t be happy; take me to Warsaw, take me to Tbilisi.”

He is a published author

In between coaching training sessions and analysing matches from the touchline, Emery found time to write a book about his managerial success. Published in 2012, it was written in collaboration with Juan Carlos Cubeiro and titled ‘Mentalidad Ganadora: El Método Emery’ – or, in English, ‘Winning Mentality: The Emery Methodology’.

MG Team

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