Unai Emery has signed a new two-year contract with Sevilla.
The 42-year-old’s current deal with the UEFA Europa League winners was due to expire on June 30, but his extension will keep him at Roman Sanchez Pizjuan until 2016.
A six-game winning streak between Feburary and March and a three-match victory run in April helped Emey lead his side to a fifth-place finish; although victory in European football’s second biggest club competition had already secured their spot for 2014/15.
After coming through Group H unbeaten, Emery’s Sevilla edged out Maribor in the last 32 before overcoming fellow La Liga side Real Betis on penalties in the round of 16.
An emphatic win over Porto followed in the last eight before they broke the hearts of another Spanish opposition in the semi-finals, as Valencia were knocked by an injury-time winner from Stephane Mbia.
This set up a showdown with 2013 finalists Benfica in Turin, where a third title and Emery’s first trophy was secured after Kevin Gameiro sealed a 4-2 shootout win.
Emery’s side will now play on the continent for a second straight season, after they sealed their passage into this year’s competition with a ninth-place finish in his first half-campaign in 2012/13.
Qualification for Europe has become something of a party trick for the Sevilla coach. In the first of four seasons with Valencia, he helped them reach the last 32 of the then-UEFA Cup which achieving a sixth-place finish in La Liga.
With passage into the newly-named UEFA Europa League secured, Emery took Los Che to the quarter-finals where they were only beaten by eventual winners Atletico Madrid on away goals.
Valencia finished third in La Liga ensuring Emery’s first taste of UEFA Champions League football for the 2010/11 season. Despite key players like David Villa and David Silva being sold, another third-place finish was secured at the Mestalla while Emery’s side reached the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition.
Another third-place finish was achieved in the following season before Emery left for Russian giants Spartak Moscow. However a less than successful spell abroad saw him return to his homeland with Sevilla in January 2013, where he has already laid the foundations of success to build on.
Promotion has been another speciality in Emery’s coaching career which began prematurely at the age of 32, after a serious knee injury forced him to retire from playing while with Segunda Divison B side Lorca Deportivo. He has handed the managerial reins almost immediately, and helped them achieve promotion to the Spanish second-tier for the first time, before taking them to within five points of La Liga the following campaign.
He then went on to achieve another promotion, as he took his new club Almeria up to La Liga for the first time. An eighth-place finish the following year made Valencia come calling and Emery has since gone from strength to strength.
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