Biography

Unai Emery

Unai Emery is a Spanish head coach currently in charge at Arsenal. Find out more about Unai in our in-depth biography

Arsenal manager Unai Emery Photo: Screen grab

Unai Emery is a Spanish head coach currently in charge of Premier League club Arsenal.

He was forced to retire from professional football at the age of 33 but Unai took over the reins of second tier Spanish side Lorca.

Emery spent two seasons at Lorca before the Spanish head coach was appointed as Almeria’s head coach in 2006 and secured immediate promotion to La Liga.

He managed to keep Almeria in La Liga for two seasons before his rising reputation resulted in Emery replacing Ronald Koeman at Valencia in 2009.

Unai led Valencia to three successive third-placed finishes before he opted to take charge of Spartak Moscow in 2012.

His Russian experiment failed and he was back managed in La Liga six months later at Sevilla. He guided the Spanish club to three Europa League titles.

Unai took over Paris Saint-Germain in 2016-17 but missed out on the Ligue 1 title in his first season. However, PSG won the French title in his second campaign in charge.

Arsenal appointed Emery as Arsene Wenger’s successor in Wednesday 23 May 2018.

Personal Information:

Date of birth: 3 November 1971
Age: 46 years old
Place of birth: Hondarribia, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Height: 180cm / 5ft 11 ins
Weight: 76kg / 168 lbs
Wages: £6million-a-year

Early career

Photo: Богдан Заяц / Wikimedia

Unai was the son (Juan) and grandson (Antonio) of famous goalkeepers but saw his career cut short.

He came through the Real Sociedad youth academy. Emery went on to make five La Liga appearances for the Basque club.

Unai spent most of his playing career in the second division. He scored nine goals in 215 games before he retired at the age of 32 while at Lorca Deportivo.

The club’s president handed him the vacant managerial position. Unai’s Lorca side achieved promotion to the second division for the first time in their history.

Remarkably, Lorca Deportivo finished in fifth place and five points adrift of the promotion places to La Liga in 2005-06.

Almeria

Photo: Football.ua / Wikimedia

Emery was appointed as Almeria’s new manager in division two in 2006.

He further underlined his growing reputation as a top coach after Unai led Almeria to promotion to La Liga for the first time in his debut season.

Almeria finished in seventh place in La Liga in their first campaign in the Spanish top flight in 2007-08.

Valencia

Photo: Football.ua / Wikimedia

Valencia moved to appoint Unai as Ronald Koeman’s replacement in 2008.

Los Che finished in sixth place in Emery’s first season at the La Liga outfit.

Unai masterminded a third-placed finish in 2009-10 behind FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to secure their return to the Champions League.

Valencia sold David Silva and David Villa ahead of the 2010-11 season but to his credit, Unai still managed to secure a third-placed finish.

Los Che reached the Champions League round of 16 before a loss to Bundesliga side Schalke 04.

Emery left Valencia following a third successive third-placed finish in 2011-12.

Spartak Moscow

Unai became the new Spartak Moscow manager in May 2012 but was sacked in November 2012 following a disappointing reign.

Sevilla

Photo: Football.ua / Wikimedia

Unai took charge of Sevilla in January 2013.

His first full season was a success after Sevilla beat Benfica on penalties in the Europa League final. Sevilla finished in fifth place.

Los Rojiblancos ended up in the same position in 2014-15 and beat Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to win successive Europa League finals.

Sevilla became the competition’s most successful team with their fourth win.

A fifth came in 2015-16 when Sevilla came from behind to beat Liverpool FC in Basel.

Paris Saint-Germain

Unai replaced Laurent Blanc at PSG on 28 June 2016.

PSG appeared to be on the brink of a famous Champions League win after a 4-0 victory over defending champions FC Barcelona in the round of 16.

However, Neymar inspired the Spanish side to a remarkable 6-1 win at Camp Nou to overturn the deficit.

PSG’s run of five successive Ligue 1 titles ended after AS Monaco beat the cash rich side to the French top-flight crown.

Emery did win Trophéedes Champions, Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France in the 2016-17 season.

PSG signed Neymar in a world record £198m deal from FC Barcelona in the 2017 summer transfer window.

Unai had a difficult time managing Neymar throughout the 2017-18 season before the forward’s campaign was cut short due to injury.

Despite the injury to the world’s most expensive player, Emery still led PSG to the Ligue 1 title as well as triumphs in Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France.

Arsenal

Photo: Screen grab

Arsenal confirmed Emery as their new manager on 23 May 2018.

Emery signed a three-year deal thought to be worth an estimated £6m a year to replace Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman’s 22 years in charge of the Gunners.

Honours

Sevilla

UEFA Europa League: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
Copa del Rey runner-up: 2015–16

Paris Saint-Germain

Ligue 1: 2017–18
Coupe de France: 2016–17, 2017–18
Coupe de la Ligue: 2016–17, 2017–18
Trophée des Champions: 2016, 2017

Managerial career

P: 719; W: 385; D: 155; L: 179; Win: 53.5 per cent

Interesting facts about Unai Emery

• Emery is to become only the second non-British manager of Arsenal in their history, after Frenchman Wenger.

• Arsenal are his seventh club and his sixth in the top-flight since he moved in to management back in January 2005 with third-tier side Lorca Deportiva

• Emery’s 73.7% win ratio and points per game ratio of 2.37 is the best ever seen in Ligue 1 by a Paris Saint-German boss

• He’s never won a competitive game against Pep Guardiola (10 games) or Jose Mourinho (5 games)

• Emery shares the record for the most UEFA Cup/Europa League titles with Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni (3) after his triumphs in n winning the UEFA Europa League in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. However, he is the only boss to have won it three seasons in a row.

• He is the only Spanish manager to win the French Ligue 1 title following his 2017-18 triumph with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of AS Monaco and Lyon.

• Emery has won 10 major honours as manager: One top-flight league title and three UEFA Europa League titles in addition to two Coupe de France, two Coupe de Ligue and two Trophée des Champions titles.

• Unai has proven something of a managerial journeyman having taken charge of teams in Spain, Russia, France and now England.

• The last manager to win the Premier League after previously winning the Ligue 1 title in France was Emery’s predecessor, Wenger.

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