How many trophies has Unai Emery won? A Look at his managerial career so far

10 Min Read
Unai Emery | Source - sport.optus.com.au

One of the best coaches in Europe, Unai Emery’s reputation has further grown since Villarreal shocked everyone by beating Bayern Munich to go to the UEFA Champions League final four in 2021–2022.

After a modest beginning in Spain, the 50-year-old has led some of the biggest clubs in the world over his 19-season management career.

Prior to leading his current Villarreal team, he led Lorca Deportiva, Almeria, Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal throughout his career.

So what trophies has the Basque-born coach won at the club level?

Lorca Deportiva

  • 2004-06
  • Trophies won: 0 (Promotion to 2nd Division)

After suffering a major knee injury during his final playing days, Unai Emery accepted a head coaching position with the now-defunct Lorca Deportiva, where he began his managing career.

Emery did not take home any hardware from the competition, but he would go on to have enormous success on the Iberian Peninsula, where he was promoted to the second division of Spanish football after placing fourth in Segunda División B Group 4.

In the next season, he came dangerously close to being promoted to La Liga with Levante before leaving for better opportunities.

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Almeria

  • 2006-08
  • Trophies won: 0 (Promotion to 1st Division)

Emery led the Rojiblancos of Almeria to their second-place finish and consequent promotion to La Liga for the first time in the team’s history in the 2006–07 Segunda División.

With little fuss, he made the switch to premier league football and led his team to an eighth-place finish in their first year.

Valencia

  • 2008-12
  • Trophies won: 0

Because of his propensity for overachievement, Emery was always going to climb the football ladder. In 2008, Spanish powerhouse Valencia hired the refined manager.

Despite severe financial difficulties at the Mestalla during his first season in charge, the Spanish coach finished in sixth place, earning a spot in the first-ever UEFA Europa League playoff round in 2009–10.

His all-star team, which included David Silva and David Villa, qualified for the Champions League in 2009–10 after finishing third in the league. Emery’s team also advanced to the Europa League quarterfinals before Atletico Madrid eliminated them and went on to win the title.

After finishing third twice in La Liga, Emery qualified for the Champions League in his final two seasons with Valencia.

After finishing third in their UEFA Champions League group in 2011–12, his team advanced to the Europa League knockout stage. Emery was just deprived of his first European trophy in the semifinals by Atletico Madrid, who prevailed 5-2 overall.

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Spartak Moscow

  • 2012
  • Trophies won: 0

Emery’s brief tenure in the Russian capital came to an early end after six months due to a poor run of form, despite having signed a two-year deal. November’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of local rivals Dynamo Moscow turned out to be his last game with Spartak.

Sevilla

  • 2013-16
  • Trophies won: 3 (Europa League in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16)

During his three seasons as Sevilla’s manager, Unai Emery won the Europa League, solidifying his reputation as an expert on the continent.

Sevilla came in fifth place in La Liga in 2013–14. Nevertheless, they won the Europa League after defeating Benfica 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw.

Los Rojiblancos made it to their second consecutive Europa League final after placing fifth in La Liga the following season. Along the route, they defeated Villarreal, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Fiorentina.

Carlos Bacca’s double helped Sevilla defeat Ukrainian team Dnipro 3-2 in the championship match.

In addition, even though they couldn’t get into the Champions League through their home league, they would still be eligible to participate in the group stages.

This resulted from a UEFA rule change that gave the winners of the UEFA Europa League starting in 2014–15 the opportunity to compete in the UEFA Champions League the following year.

Sevilla’s league performance declined in his last season at the club, culminating in seventh place for Unai Emery’s team. But fear not—the Andalusian team mustered the strength to win the Europa League for a record-tying third consecutive year.

Sevilla advanced past Molde, Basel, Athletic Bilbao, and Shakhtar Donetsk after being eliminated from the Champions League and into the Europa League, putting them in contention for yet another European championship.

With goals from Kevin Gameiro and a double from Coke, they defeated Liverpool to retain the trophy in southern Spain.

Paris Saint-Germain

  • 2016-18
  • Trophies won: 7 (Ligue 1 2017/18, Coupe de France 2016/17 & 2017/18, Coupe De La Ligue 2016/17 & 2017/18, Trophee des Champions 2016 & 2017)

In July 2016, Emery was hired by Paris Saint-Germain to succeed Laurent Blanc for a two-year period. His time in France was very successful at home. On the European scene, he didn’t leave the impression he would have liked to.

PSG defeated Lyon 4-1 in a one-off encounter to win the Trophee des Champions in his first competitive game with the team in 2016–17.

Victories over Monaco and Angers in the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France, respectively, were to follow. Still, there was going to be humiliation in the Champions League and in Ligue 1.

Emery’s Paris team lost the league to AS Monaco at home by eight points, while Barcelona eliminated them from the Champions League at Camp Nou. After losing 6-1 in Spain, PSG was humiliated 6-5 on aggregate, despite leading 4-0 in the first leg.

At the Parc des Princes, four more trophies were won during the 2017–18 season. Most importantly, PSG won the championship back after finishing the season 13 points ahead of AS Monaco. In the 2017–18 Coupe de France final, Emery led his team to a 2-0 victory over Les Herbiers VF.

Additionally, PSG successfully defended their Coupe de la Ligue title, defeating AS Monaco 3-0 with to goals from Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria. But after losing both legs in the Round of 16, they were eliminated by Real Madrid from the Champions League.

After defeating AS Monaco 2-1 in the season’s opening match, Emery once again added the Trophee des Champions to his collection in 2017.

Arsenal

  • 2018-2019
  • Trophies won: 0 (Europa League finalists)

Emery had a terrible tenure at Arsenal, never quite managing to acquire the necessary support to be considered a success in the position.

Emery brought Arsenal to within one point of the top four in the Premier League during his lone full season with the club.

The Gunners were eliminated from the FA Cup and EFL Cup at the fourth round and quarterfinal stages by Manchester United and Tottenham, respectively, in the domestic cup tournaments.

Additionally, the Spaniard led Arsenal to the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League final in Azerbaijan, where they were defeated 4–1 by rival Chelsea.

Emery was fired in November 2019 after going seven games without a victory across all competitions. Mikel Arteta, who in that season won the FA Cup with Emery’s old team, would shortly replace him.

Villarreal

  • 2020-2022
  • Trophies won: 1 (Europa League 2020/21)

After being appointed as Villarreal’s manager in July 2020, Unai Emery returned to the Spanish football scene.

The Yellow Submarine manager led his team to seventh place in La Liga and the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, where they were defeated by Levante, in the 2020–21 season.

Emery’s unexpected Villarreal team defeated Manchester United and Arsenal in the semifinal and final on penalties, securing his fourth trophy as manager. Once again, the Europa League proved to be his saving grace.

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In the 2021/22 season, when he led Villarreal to the Champions League semifinals, the Reds’ late-game scoring barrage in the two-leg series was the only reason for Villarreal’s defeat to Liverpool.

They qualified for the Europa Conference League qualification playoff by finishing seventh in the Spanish top division; however, Sporting Gijon eliminated them in the Copa del Rey Round of 32.

Emery’s next assignment is to rejoin Aston Villa in the English Premier League. Fans of Villa will be counting on Emery to replicate his achievements at Valencia, Villarreal, and Sevilla, as their up-and-coming team has higher goals.

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By Shyam
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Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.