|Full name||Unai Emery Etxegoien|
|Date of birth||3 November 1971|
|Place of birth||Hondarribia, Spain|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Aston Villa (head coach)|
|1990–1995||Real Sociedad B||89||(8)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
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, whom 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. 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 string of poor results. He was hired by Villarreal in July 2020, where he won the Europa League in his first season and guided the club to a Champions League semi-final run in the following season. In October 2022, he left Villarreal and returned to the Premier League to manage Aston Villa and guided them to qualification for the UEFA Conference League.
Early life and playing career
Emery was born in Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country. He is a native speaker of the Basque language. His father and grandfather, named Juan and Antonio respectively, were also footballers, both goalkeepers. The former appeared for several clubs in the second tier including Real Unión, while the latter competed with that club in the top division. Emery's uncle, Román, played as a midfielder. In July 2021, the Emery family completed a takeover of Real Unión, and his brother Igor became club president.
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). 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. In 2002, he signed for Burgos CF but was one of several players released before making a single competitive appearance due to lack of funds.
Lorca and Almería
Emery suffered a serious knee injury while at Lorca in the 2004–05 season, and he was offered the vacant coach's position by the club president. He immediately helped the club achieve promotion to the second division for the first time in its history, 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; they suffered relegation in 2007, after Emery's departure.
Emery then moved to Almería in division two, and again helped his squad overachieve: after guiding them to a first ever promotion in 2007, the Andalusian side finished eighth in La Liga in 2007–08. This prompted a move to Valencia, where he succeeded Ronald Koeman as coach.
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, losing on away goals after a 3–3 aggregate draw 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.
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, 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.
On 13 May 2012, Leonid Fedun, owner of Spartak Moscow, announced Emery as the Russian club's coach for the following two seasons. 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 5–1 home loss in the derby against Dynamo Moscow.
Emery returned to Spanish football on 14 January 2013, replacing the sacked Míchel at the helm of Sevilla. 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.
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, thus qualifying for the following Champions League. The victory meant that Sevilla became the most successful club in the history of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, with four wins, 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.
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. 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.
On 12 June 2016, after Emery expressed his desire to leave Sevilla, the club announced that they would be parting ways.
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. In his first competitive match in charge, on 6 August, his side beat Lyon 4–1 in Austria to lift the Trophée des Champions.
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, only to historically lose 6–1 in Spain and subsequently be eliminated.
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. However, they were knocked out in the round of 16, as they lost both legs by the eventual winner Real Madrid.
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. 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. He was replaced by German coach Thomas Tuchel at PSG following the conclusion of the 2017–18 season.
In his first competitive game in charge, on 12 August, his side lost to Manchester City 2–0 in the Premier League. After a second consecutive loss to Chelsea on 18 August, Emery recorded his first win as Arsenal manager on 25 August, in a 3–1 home win over West Ham United. After this game, Arsenal won 11 games in a row, their best run of form since 2007. 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. Their 3–2 loss to Southampton in December was the first time they had been defeated in all competitions since August. 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. Emery yet again reached a Europa League final, but was unsuccessful as Arsenal were beaten 4–1 by fellow English side Chelsea. Arsenal finished the season in fifth position, one place higher than the previous season, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot.
In the 2019 summer transfer window, Emery broke Arsenal's previous club record by signing Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pépé. 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.
On 29 November 2019, following a series of poor results and a winless run of seven games, Emery was sacked by Arsenal. His final game in charge was a 2–1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. 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 club Villarreal, succeeding Javier Calleja on a three-year deal. On 23 December, he broke the club record of 18 matches unbeaten, after a 1–1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao.
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; he was the first ex-Gunners boss to beat his former team since George Graham in 1999. 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.
In November 2021, Emery was approached for the vacant managerial spot at Newcastle United following their Saudi-led takeover. He turned down the interest, saying that he was "100% committed" to Villarreal and that the English team had a "lack of a clear vision". In the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League, he led Villarreal to the semi-finals by beating Juventus and Bayern Munich, before being eliminated by Liverpool.
This section appears to be slanted towards recent events. (November 2023)
2022–23: From relegation fight to Europe
On 24 October 2022, Emery was appointed as head coach of Aston Villa after the Premier League team paid a buyout fee of a reported €6 million (£5.2 million) to Villarreal. Due to work permit formalities, the appointment did not complete until 1 November, with Villa having only won two of their first eleven games under previous manager Steven Gerrard before his sacking, and sitting in 16th place in the league table, two places above the relegation zone with only a point separating Villa from the relegation places. On 6 November, Emery won his first match in charge with a 3–1 win over Manchester United, Villa's first home Premier League victory against United since August 1995. His team were eliminated from the third round of the FA Cup 2–1 at home by EFL League Two team Stevenage on 8 January 2023, the seventh season in a row where Villa failed to make it past the third round. He criticised the mentality of his players after the game.
Villa would win fifteen of their twenty-five league games under Emery and 49 points from a possible 75 since his appointment during the 2022–23 campaign, with only 1st-place Manchester City, 2nd-place Arsenal, 3rd-place Manchester United and 5th-place Liverpool securing more points since Emery's appointment. A 1–1 draw with Brentford on 22 April 2023 at the Gtech Community Stadium, Emery's nineteenth league game in charge at Villa, saw Emery's Aston Villa break the record for the number of consecutive league games scored by a team at the start of a manager's tenure in Premier League history, also defeating Fulham 1–0 before losing 1–0 to Manchester United on 30 April 2023 which set the new record at twenty consecutive games. The 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat in April 2023, led to Emery being awarded Premier League Manager of the Month.
A 2–1 victory against Tottenham on 13 May not only meant Villa's first league double over The Lilywhites since the 1995–96 season, but also secured a top-half finish to the league, and a 1–1 draw with Liverpool on 20 May guaranteed a 9th-placed finish, Villa's highest finish in the Premier League since the 2010–11 season. On the final matchday, Villa won 2–1 against Brighton, to secure a 7th-place finish and qualification to the UEFA Europa Conference League, the club's first participation in European football since the 2010–11 season and Emery's sixteenth consecutive season of European football. Many sports journalists and pundits praised Emery's transformation of Villa in such a short space of time, and Emery was nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Season Award. Recipient of the award, Pep Guardiola, would also acknowledge Emery in his acceptance speech, along with fellow nominated managers Mikel Arteta, Eddie Howe, Marco Silva, and Gary O'Neil for each's "incredible job this season".
Aston Villa also saw a number of club records broken during Emery's first seven months in charge, including striker Ollie Watkins not only break the record for number of consecutive games scored in for a Villa player in the Premier League era with five, but also number of consecutive Premier League away games scored in at six, and Emiliano Martínez, with five clean sheets upon the league's restart after the 2022 FIFA World Cup break the record for number of clean sheets for an Aston Villa goalkeeper in his first 100 Premier League games for the club at 34. A 3–0 win against Newcastle United on 15 April 2023 saw Villa win five Premier League games in a row for the first time since 1998, and victory at Villa Park against Brighton on the final matchday not only meant The Villans' first time winning seven consecutive league games at home since the 1992–93 season, but also their eighteenth league win of the season, fifteenth under Emery, for their joint-most league wins in a 38-game season.
The summer of 2023 also saw major changes in Aston Villa's infrastructure as co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens backed Emery wholeheartedly, including the recruitment of Sevilla's sporting director Monchi as President of Football Operations, and also Damian Vidagany as Director of Football Operations, with Emery and Monchi having worked together in Sevilla during the club's trilogy of UEFA Europa League cup wins from 2013 to 2016, and latter revealing the chance to work with Emery again was a key motivator behind his decision. Emery and Monchi signed Pau Torres from Villarreal for a reported £33m, and Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee, with many outlets reporting the fee to be in excess of £50m and shattering Villa's previous transfer record, with the latter choosing Villa over reported interest from Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr who, like many Saudi teams in 2023, signed a host of star players for lucrative offers.
After a 5–1 defeat to Newcastle United at St James' Park in their opening fixture of the 2023-24 Premier League season, where Villa were commended by Sir Alex Ferguson, with positive analysis of their play, Emery would lead Villa to win five of their opening seven Premier League games of the season for the third time in the club’s history, a run which also saw Douglas Luiz break Dwight Yorke’s record from December 1996 of five consecutive Premier League home league appearance goals with six, and become the first Aston Villa player to be directly involved in a goal in each of his last seven Premier League home appearances, and an Ollie Watkins’s hat-trick against Brighton also saw Watkins become the first Villa player since Andy Gray in the 1976-77 season to score two hat-tricks in a single season. Victories at home to Everton, Crystal Palace, Brighton, West Ham, Luton, and Fulham saw Emery’s Villa maintain a 100% record in their first six games of the season at home for the first time since the 1932-33 season, their thirteenth consecutive home league win, a feat last matched by the club in 1983, and a total of fourteen league wins at home in 2023, more than the previous two calendar years combined, with Emery stating a need “to feel something special at Villa Park and try to create a positive energy between us and the supporters and try to work on the pitch to connect with them”.
Aston Villa defeated Hibernian 5–0 at Easter Road in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round with striker Ollie Watkins also marking his debut appearance in European competition with a hat-trick, and setting a record-equalling European win for Emery's side. Villa would also win the reverse fixture 3-0 at Villa Park to confirm their place in the group stage of the competition, being drawn against AZ Alkmaar, Legia Warsaw, and Zrinjski Mostar. After losing their opening group game 3-2 against Legia Warsaw at the Stadion Wojska Polskiego, with Emery admitting Europe is a learning curve for his side, Villa would win their subsequent three group games, defeating Zrinjski Mostar 1-0 at home, AZ Alkmaar 4-1 at Alkmaar’s AFAS Stadion, and Alkmaar again 2-1 at Villa Park, with Emery remarking after the game that "the most important thing for us is to keep being consistent. We want to impose our style and make sure we're stronger. Every competition is different, be it the Premier League or Conference League. We have to try and get a feel for this and show that we can win this competition." The 2-1 victory against Alkmaar in the home leg fixture would also be Emery’s 100th win in all UEFA competitions.
In domestic cup competitions, Aston Villa would also lose their opening round fixture in the EFL Cup to Everton, with Emery admitting being disappointed with the result and mentioning the club’s need to “try to add some players into the team and try to get balance with them in every competition we are going to face”.
- As of match played 30 November 2023
|Lorca Deportiva||21 December 2004||22 June 2006||70||34||16||20||48.57|||
|Almería||22 June 2006||22 May 2008||84||39||20||25||46.43|||
|Valencia||22 May 2008||14 May 2012||220||107||58||55||48.64|||
|Spartak Moscow||14 May 2012||25 November 2012||26||12||4||10||46.15|
|Sevilla||14 January 2013||12 June 2016||205||106||43||56||51.71|||
|Paris Saint-Germain||28 June 2016||14 May 2018||114||87||15||12||76.32|
|Arsenal||23 May 2018||29 November 2019||78||43||16||19||55.13|||
|Villarreal||23 July 2020||25 October 2022||129||66||32||31||51.16|||
|Aston Villa||1 November 2022||Present||48||30||5||13||62.50|
- Ligue 1: 2017–18
- Coupe de France: 2016–17, 2017–18
- Coupe de la Ligue: 2016–17, 2017–18
- Trophée des Champions: 2016, 2017
- Miguel Muñoz Trophy (Segunda División): 2005–06, 2006–07
- La Liga Manager of the Month: March 2014, January 2015
- European Coach of the Season: 2013–14
- UNFP Manager of the Year: 2017–18
- Globe Soccer Awards Coach Career Award: 2022
- Premier League Manager of the Month: April 2023
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