Fri 25 June 2021 | 13:30

Unai Emery Biography

One of the best football managers of his generation, he has established himself as a specialist in Europa League, winning the competition on four occasions. In this article, we will take a look at Unai Emery biography.

Unai Emery, born 3 November 1971 in Fontarrabia, Spain, is a Spanish former football player who currently works as a coach for Spanish club Villareal, having previously managed many top European football clubs. As a footballer, he played as a midfielder, primarily in the Spanish second division in the 1990s. Following this, he started a career as a coach.

At first, he coached mostly La Liga clubs, such as Valencia CF and Sevilla FC. He won three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla FC in 2014, 2015 and 2016, giving the Andalusian club the best record in the competition. In 2016, Unai Emery was appointed coach of Paris Saint-Germain, losing the French league title in his first season to AS Monaco and losing 6-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 second leg after winning the first leg 4-0.

Despite winning all the national titles (league, French Cup, League Cup, Champions Trophy) the following year, he was defeated again in the last 16 by Real Madrid. His results are considered negative overall in the Champions League, particularly for his failures in the competition. He joined Arsenal on 23 May 2018, succeeding Arsène Wenger, who had managed the Gunners for 22 years. He was dismissed from his job at Arsenal on 29 November 2019.

All You Need to Know About Unai Emery Biography

On 23 July 2020 Emery joined Villarreal CF and won the Europa League in his first season in charge of the Spanish club. After winning this new title with Villareal, he became the first coach to win the Europa League 4 times.

Unai Emery Information

Now that we know him much better, it is time to share some general information about him such as

Unai Emery nationality

, stay tuned!

Unai Emery Bio

  • Full Name: Unai Emery Etxegoien

  • Nickname: Coquettishly

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Unai Emery Physical Stats

  • Weight: 76 Kg

  • Height: 180 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel Brown

  • Hair Color: Black

Unai Emery Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 11

  • Professional Debut: 1990

Unai Emery Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 3 November 1971

  • Birth Place: Hondarribia, Spain

  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

  • Nationality: Spanish

Now stay tuned as in this section of

Unai Emery biography

we want to share some more information about

Unai Emery childhood


Unai Emery Early Life

As a professional footballer, Emery had a modest career. He mostly played in the Segunda and

Segunda División

B, even though he made his debut in the Primera División. His first position on the pitch was inside-left.

He began his football career in the youth ranks of Real Sociedad de Fútbol. He spent five seasons between 1990 and 1995 in the Segunda División B reserve team. He only made the jump to the first team in the 1995-1996 season, under coach Salva Iriarte, in which he played very little, only 5 games in the league and 1 in the Copa del Rey, coming on as a substitute. He even scored a goal against Albacete Balompié in the league.

Unable to find a place at

Real Sociedad

de Fútbol, Emery joined Club Deportivo Toledo, then playing in Spain's Second Division, where he would play from 1996 to 2000 for 4 seasons. He played for Club Deportivo Toledo during those 4 seasons, making 126 league appearances and scoring 2 goals.

At the end of the 1999-2000 season, when the team was relegated to Spain's Second Division B, Emery joined Racing Club de Ferrol, who had just been promoted to the Second Division. He also played for one season at Club Deportivo Leganés, totalling 215 appearances in his career in Spain's Segunda División.

He joined Lorca Deportiva Club de Fútbol in 2003. During his second season at Lorca in November 2004, coach Quique Yagüe was dismissed from the club after a defeat against Asociación Deportiva Ceuta. Emery, who had been suffering from a knee injury for several months, was offered the chance to take over the team by the president of Lorca Deportiva Club de Fútbol. He accepted the offer, retired from football and then assumed the management of the team.

Now stay tuned as in this section of Unai Emery biography we want to share some more information about his career as a manager.

Unai Emery Profile

Following a serious knee injury during the 2004-2005 season, he was named coach of Lorca Deportiva CF in January 2004 by its president, who gave him the task of maintaining the club's position in Segunda Division B, while the club was falling down the table. Within six months of his appointment, the club was promoted to the Spanish second division for the first time in its history after a play-off victory over Alicante in Irun, his childhood home.

During his second season at Lorca Deportiva CF in the Liga Adelante, he ended up fifth in the league with a total of 69 points, just five points away from promotion to the top flight. The following season, however, the club was relegated after Emery's departure.

UD Almeria

Emery then took over as coach of UD


in 2006, which was still in the second division. In 2007, as with his previous club, he won promotion to the Spanish top flight in La Liga following a brilliant first season in which he finished second in the league with 80 points and had the best attack. The 2007-2008 season saw the Andalusian club remain in the top flight with an unexpected eighth-place finish.

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Unai Emery biography

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Valencia CF

Following his two seasons with UD Almería, he was appointed coach of Valencia CF in 2008, replacing Ronald Koeman. The Valencia club was looking for consistency with Emery. His first season in charge ended with a sixth-place finish in the league and qualification for the Europa League, despite the club's financial problems.

Meanwhile, in his first European campaign, he guided his team to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, where they lost in extra time to Dynamo Kiev. Nevertheless, in the Copa del Rey, Valencia was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Sevilla FC.

Emery's next season was much more promising as Valencia finished third in La Liga, which allowed the club to return to the top European level with the UEFA Champions League after a two-year absence. That season, he led his team to the quarter-finals of the Europa League against future winners

Atletico Madrid

. In May 2010, he extended his contract with Valencia by one year.

Valencia finished third in the Spanish league again in the 2010-2011 season, despite the important departures of David Silva and David Villa. In September 2010 he won his first Champions League match (4-0) against Turkish club


and was knocked out a few months later in the round of 16 against German side Schalke 04.

In his fourth season in 2011-2012, the club finally found stability by continuing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and Emery finished third in a row on the league podium. In the UEFA Champions League, however, the club was eliminated in the group stage, but in the Europa League, he managed to lead the club to the semi-finals, where they were beaten once again by eventual winners Atletico Madrid. At the end of the season, he left Valencia in June 2012.

Spartak Moscow

Spartak Moscow president Leonid Fedun announced on 13 May 2012 that Emery would become the first team coach for the next two seasons. In November of the same year, however, he was fired after a series of poor results, including a 1-5 derby loss to Dynamo Moscow. Now stay tuned as in this section of Unai Emery biography we want to share some more information about his career with the Spanish side Sevilla.



In January 2013, Emery returned to Spain with

Sevilla FC

, taking over from Míchel, who had also been sacked after a final defeat by Valencia (0-2) and a twelfth-place finish. He finished his half-season in a modest ninth place in La Liga, although he was able to secure a ticket to the Europa League, benefiting from the European exclusions of Malaga CF and Rayo Vallecano.

In the 2013-2014 season, Emery, together with his sporting director Monchi, embarked on a promising recruitment drive with the purchases of Kevin Gameiro from PSG and also Carlos Bacca. The project was put in place in response to the sale of key players to England such as Jesús Navas and Alvaro Negredo. Although the start of the season was mixed, the club finished fifth in the league and fourth in attack behind the trio of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

He also went on to win his first Europa League, having reached the semi-finals with Valencia, defeating Benfica Lisbon in the final on penalties and eliminating title favourites such as his former club Valencia and FC Porto.

During his second full season at the club in 2014-2015, he placed Sevilla at the top level of Spanish football by finishing fifth once again. He also participated in the UEFA Supercup in August, losing (0-2) to Champions League holders Real Madrid. They won their second consecutive Europa League title against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk at the end of the season, thereby confirming their good performance in Europe.

Emery and the Andalusian club qualified for the UEFA

Champions League

after winning the Europa League. In a very difficult group, made up of Juventus FC,

Manchester City

and Borussia Mönchengladbach, they failed to make it through this stage but ended up in the Europa League, the Spanish coach's 'favourite' competition.


He set an all-time record by winning the competition for the third time in a row, defeating favourites Liverpool FC (1-3). As for the league, they dropped to seventh place, mainly because of a season ending with 7 defeats in 9 games. This disappointment in


was rectified by a Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, with Emery's side narrowly losing in extra time. Sevilla FC announced in a statement on 12 June 2016 that Unai Emery's contract had been terminated.

Now stay tuned as in this section of

Unai Emery biography

we want to share some more information about his career at PSG.

Paris Saint-Germain

Unai Emery succeeded Laurent Blanc as coach of the Parisian team on 28 June 2016 and signed a three-year contract with an option to extend it for a further year. From that point on, he took part in the recruitment of Hatem Ben Arfa, Grzegorz Krychowiak (his former player at Sevilla), Thomas Meunier and the Madrid player Jesé Rodriguez21. The summer break was also marked by the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimović, the leading scorer of the club, who left for

Manchester United

. It was a decision that Unai Emery would later regret.

He won the Champions Trophy against Olympique Lyonnais (4-1) on 6 August 2016 for his first official match as PSG coach. His fast, vertical play and the attacking contribution of the full-backs together with his constant pressure on the ball carrier were praised by fans.

Following a difficult start to the season, highlighted by a 3-1 defeat at Monaco, Unai Emery's team won a big victory at Caen on the fifth day of the championship (6-0), with Edinson Cavani scoring four goals. However, the following week was punctuated by a second defeat against Toulouse (2-0).

Emery arrived with a new game plan and was forced to adapt to the characteristics of his team: he dropped the 4-2-3-1 system originally planned for Javier Pastore and the desired transitional play and returned to a 4-3-3 system which was better suited to PSG's possession game and in particular that of its midfielder Thiago Motta.

In contrast to his predecessor, Emery ended the special privileges enjoyed by certain players last season, dropped Hatem Ben Arfa from the first team on several occasions and put his two goalkeepers, Kevin Trapp and Alphonse Areola, in competition.

The first six months of Unai Emery's tenure at PSG were criticised, with the team finishing only third in the table at mid-season having lost four league games and finishing second in their group in the Champions League behind Arsenal. The team seemed to be doing better after the winter break.

Following their victory in the League Cup semi-final against Bordeaux (1-4), Paris Saint-Germain achieved a feat by beating


4-0 in the Champions League at the Parc des Princes (first leg of the round of 16). That performance was described by the press as the "benchmark match" of the Emery era, with Emery himself describing it as "the best illustration of the mentality and the game [he] wanted for Paris".

This success, however, was brushed aside in the return match at the Camp Nou by a heavy 6-1 defeat (described as a remontada) which knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League. It was a historic first after a four-goal lead in the first leg of the competition. However, Emery's weakness on the bench when the score was only 3-1 with a few minutes to go was pointed out by analysts as a major reason for the humiliation. The Spaniard would later claim that it was the 'refereeing decisions' that led to PSG's elimination.

Following the Barcelona trauma, a month later Paris Saint-Germain won their seventh League Cup against


(4-1) in a match in which they demonstrated their attacking power. In spite of very good results in 2017, PSG lost the title of French champion to AS Monaco, following a defeat in Nice (3-1), which broke their series of four consecutive titles. However, Emery won the French Cup final against


(1-0) at the end of his first season.

PSG made an impressive move in the summer of 2017 with the arrival of Mbappé and more importantly Neymar from Barça, which gave the Parisians a lot of ambition for the 2017-18 season. With his attacking trio Mbappé, Cavani and Neymar (nicknamed the "MCN"), Emery's play gains speed and allowed PSG to fly over the league.

The capital's players put in strong performances against Bayern Munich (3-0) in the Champions League - finishing top of the group with a record number of goals scored - or during a draw against Marseille (2-2). In the first leg of the round of 16 against

Real Madrid

, PSG was dominant but eventually lost (3-1). During this match, Emery decided to leave his captain Thiago Silva on the bench, provoking a disagreement between the two men.

However, a few weeks later, the preparations for the return match were disrupted by an injury to Neymar, who was the star of the Spanish coach's squad, from which the Parisians did not recover and were knocked out of the competition by the eventual winners.

With the European campaign over, Unai Emery's credibility was damaged among the fans and his managers. However, he won two last trophies, the League Cup and the French Cup, and completed a new quadruple for Paris, before leaving the club. He announced his departure from PSG on 27 April 2018 and the following month was named the best coach in the French league for the 2017-2018 season.

His performance in Paris was mixed. While he allowed the club to add to its domestic trophy collection (seven trophies), Unai Emery failed to get beyond the last 16 in the Champions League, even though this was one of PSG's major objectives, in particular having taken part in the so-called "remontada" against Barcelona, regarded as the worst humiliation in the history of the European Cup.

Furthermore, analysts have also noted his difficulty in imposing his tactical system, dealing with the egos of the stars and communicating in French to the media. In an interview with France Football, Emery defended his achievements and admitted that he could have "convinced some players even more of the direction he wanted to take".

Arsenal FC


FC officially signed the Spanish coach on 23 May 2018, when he succeeded Arsene Wenger. While building on the backbone of the squad led by Arsène Wenger, Emery relied on young talents such as Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi to kick-start the club's new era.

Emery's first season on the Arsenal bench saw him take the team to the Europa League final after defeating the likes of BATE Borisov, Rennes, Napoli and Valencia. Nevertheless, Arsenal lost the final to rivals Chelsea on 29 May 2019 in Baku (Azerbaijan) with a score of 4-1. The last time Arsenal reached a European Cup final was when they lost the Champions League final to Barcelona on 17 May 2006 at the Stade de France (Saint-Denis).

However, the team only finished 5th in the 2018-2019 English Premier League, 1 point behind Tottenham, and missed out on qualifying for the Champions League for the second year in a row. In spite of a good total of 70 points, Arsenal suffered a series of defeats against Everton, Wolverhampton and Crystal Palace at the end of the season which cost them qualification.

One day after a home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt (1-2) in the Europa League, Arsenal FC finally announced his departure from the club on 29 November 2019.


Unai Emery signed a contract with


CF on 23 July 2020. On 7 May 2021, he led the club to the final of the Europa League by defeating his former club, Arsenal FC, with whom he had previously reached the final in 2019. It was the first European Cup final in the history of Villareal CF.

On the personal front, Unai Emery, now a specialist in the competition, was set to play his fifth Europa League final with Villarreal on 26 May 2021. Villarreal won the final after an amazing penalty shoot-out, with the Spanish club's goalkeeper Rulli saving David de Gea's 11th shot. It was Emery's fourth Europa League win.

Now stay tuned as in this section of Unai Emery biography we want to share some more information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

Emery is a believer in the 4-2-3-1 tactical setup, as he explained in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that he likes to use heavy pressing, a strong, harassing scrum duo, as well as great balance when leading a team. His game style is also characterized by intense vertical play, aggressive recovery and deadly counter-attacks through technical and fast full-backs.

He has been compared a lot to his fellow countryman Rafael Benitez as tactically he focuses on adaptability by creating teams that maximize the potential of his players. He also uses a high degree of rotation with his players: for instance, at Valencia, he never played the same eleven twice in a row. He indicated that he was inspired by Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Marcelo Bielsa.

The Spanish coach also makes extensive use of video to prepare his matches: he explained that "my staff and I study the last four games of our opponents" in an interview with Tuttosport and that he plays his videos to his team "one hour the day before and twenty minutes on the day of the match". He also explained in the same interview that "pressing is a key point that I insist on a lot" and added that he wants to convey "his dynamism" to his team in training because he considers that "you play exactly how you train ".


As one of the youngest football coaches currently working, he has a great personal record, especially in the Europa League, as he is the only manager to win it four times. Many football critics and fans believe that he hasn’t yet reached his full potential as a coach and that he can improve a lot in the future.

Unai Emery outside Football

As a young football manager, with a great record and big ambitions for the future, at the moment, Unai Emery is fully focused on football and there is not much information about his life outside football.

Unai Emery Personal Life

In this section of Unai Emery biography, stay tuned as we take a deeper look into his personal life, sharing some insights about

Unai Emery life story


Unai Emery religion


Family, Children, and Relationships

He was born in 1971 in the Basque town of Fuenterrabía. He is from a family of goalkeepers. Unai is the grandson of Pajarito Antonio Emery, the legendary goalkeeper of Real Unión Club de Irún in the 1920s and 1930s, who won the Copa del Rey twice, and the son of Juan Emery, also a goalkeeper, who played for Real Unión de Irún, Alavés, Logroñés, Deportivo de La Coruña, Sporting de Gijón, Recreativo de Huelva, Granada and Real Jaén during his career.

His great uncles Francisco and Román Emery Arocena played for Real Unión, as did his uncle Román Emery Alza, however, he who also played for Club Deportivo Logroñés and Club Deportivo Málaga.

Sacha Wright, Unai Emery's ex-girlfriend while he was living in London, gave an interview in which she revealed details of her relationship with the former PSG coach a few months after his departure from Arsenal.

The 35-year-old businesswoman, who had been the coach's girlfriend until two months prior to him being sacked from Arsenal, explained in detail how they met, what the Basque was like and the reason for the break-up.

"He put the blame for his sacking on me. He told me I was a witch because I had brought him bad luck. He told me that the day we broke up was when Arsenal started losing," she said.


At the time of writing this article, there aren’t any reports of any charity activities regarding Unai Emery on the media. Now stay tuned as in this section of Unai Emery biography we want to share some more information about his legal issues.

Legal Issues

Unai Emery has never had any legal issues or disputes during his career in football, both as a manager and a footballer, as there are no such reports about him on the media.

Unai Emery Career Statistics

In this section of Unai Emery biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the club and international level.


As a football player, between 1990 and 2004, Unai Emery played a total of around 360 matches for many Spanish clubs, with most of them being the lower divisions teams of Spain. As a midfielder, he has also scored around 20 goals during his playing days.


Since December of 2004, when he started his career as a coach, Unai Emery has gone on to manage his teams in 855 matches, in which his teams finished as winners on 459 occasions, lost 208 times and drawn 188 matches, thus giving the Spaniard a win ratio of 53.7% which is good in the world of football.

He had his most successful coaching career at the French club Paris Saint-Germain, where in addition to winning many titles and trophies, he managed to achieve a win ratio of 76.3% with 87 wins in a total of 114 matches in charge of the Parisian club.

Unai Emery Honors

As a manager, he has won many awards, trophies and titles during his career, including UEFA Europa League, Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.

His personal awards and titles include Miguel Muñoz Trophy (Segunda División), European Coach of the Season, UNFP Manager of the Year and the La Liga Manager of the Month which he managed to win on two occasions while he was coaching Sevilla.

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source: SportMob


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