Unai Emery: “You have to put your feelings aside and be mentally cold”


The former Villarreal coach Unai Emery has said goodbye to his “home” to head to the Premier League with Aston Villa, an “opportunity” that has forced him to “leave feelings aside” and be “cold mentally “, and has highlighted the “union” and “chemistry” of a locker room that “is not going to break” despite his departure.

“The coaches are exposed and we have to put our feelings aside. We have lived very nice moments, but we have to be calculating and mentally cold and stick to the contracts we sign. I have a certain maturity to make decisions firmly and with respect” , declared at a press conference.

In addition, he explained that he has made “a professional and personal decision.” “I left my house in Hondarribia at the age of 24 and opened myself up to the professional world with all the consequences. There were difficult and beautiful moments outside my comfort zone. Here I have found a very important part of my family and I have felt some heart again, but the profession is within me. I have considered that I had to take this opportunity, as a sporting challenge”, he expressed.

On why he has taken this opportunity and not the one Newcastle offered him last season, the Basque coach stated that “these are different times”. “Last year I thought no and this year yes, but from the professional side,” said Emery, who revealed that he informed the club president last Friday. “I called Fernando on Friday to tell him the situation and that he wanted to direct the game on Sunday. On Monday it was triggered,” he recalled.

“It is true that it is not very common. It is a different context, difficult, and it can surprise a bit. This team is very mature and very professional, and adapts quickly to different messages. I am very proud of how they have responded to what We have demanded, at a very high level. What I like the most is the union that the group has, the chemistry that exists. They are a team and on Sunday they showed it on the field. That is not going to break. They understand it because they are professionals,” he continued.

In another order of things, the Hondarribia coach was full of praise for Villarreal and its leaders and workers. “When we talked about coming to Villarreal, a member of my team told me ‘Unai, it’s the perfect project for you’. What I’ve had at Villarreal is a house,” he stressed.

“I thank Fernando, father, and Fernando, son, for the professional and emotional relationship we have had. With respect, I thank Villarreal CF, José Manuel Llaneza, who forms the triangle of the project, all the employees, the technicians, those who remain I came here looking for a different place to achieve some challenges that Villarreal had almost touched and that I had had. I thank them for the professional attention, we have been up to the task, “he added.

“I’m leaving a team in Europe, which is an opportunity that Calleja also gave me when I got here. I won the Europa League thanks to the conditions they set for me. Each league and each club is different. It’s not that it’s better or worse, It’s different. I’m leaving a project very much alive, a European project,” he said.


The president of Villarreal, Fernando Roig, acknowledged that the “unilateral” termination of Emery’s contract has caught them “badly”, but qualifies his time at the club with “honours”. “He caught us on the wrong foot, in the middle of the season of a rare championship due to the breaks. We have a very good relationship, but he has caught us on the wrong foot. Unai, we thank you for what you have worked for, we wish you the best. It’s been a bit of a mess for us, but we’re going to get back on our feet,” he said.

“He has fulfilled the contract he had with Villarreal and I want to thank him for the work he has done during these two and a half years. We have had a fluid relationship, with a lot of respect, with great professionalism and with a lot of affection. It has led us to to be champions of the Europa League and to play an extraordinary role in the ‘Champions’, but a job opportunity has come his way. He has put Villarreal at the top”, he concluded.

Finally, the CEO of the Castellón entity, Fernando Roig Nogueroles, stated that they will soon announce the name of the new coach. “It’s a major setback for us. He’s a great coach, but we have to look for solutions, and we’ll find them,” he concluded.