Unai Emery: The Man to Turn Around Arsenal’s Fortune

Unai Emery is starting a new chapter in his career after being appointed Arsenal head coach on May 23, and the Spaniard will do so while leaning heavily on the members of backroom staff who have been with him along the way in his career.

The 46-year-old recently left Paris Saint-Germain after two seasons at the club and succeeds Arsene Wenger, who ended his 21-and-a-half-year reign with the Gunners on May 13.

Unai Emery Etxegoien was born on November 3, in 1971 Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country. His father and grandfather, named Juan and Antonio respectively, were also footballers, both goalkeepers. The former appeared for several clubs in the second tier, whilst the latter competed with Real Unión in the top division. Emery’s uncle, Román, played as a midfielder.

Emery, a left-sided midfielder, was a youth graduate of Real Sociedad, but never really broke into the first team (aged 24 he appeared in five La Liga games, scoring against Albacete Balompié in an 8–1 home win). After that, he resumed his career mostly in the Segunda División, amassing totals of 215 matches and nine goals over seven seasons.

He retired with Lorca Deportiva CF at the age of 32, after one season in Segunda División B.

After a playing career spent mostly in Spain’s Segunda División, he became a manager in 2005, beginning with Lorca and Almería before spending four years with Valencia and leading the team to three third-place finishes in four La Liga seasons. After a short spell at Spartak Moscow, Emery moved to Sevilla in 2013, and led the club to three consecutive Europa League victories. He moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2016, where he won Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions in his first year. In his second year, he won all four domestic trophies including Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions. He left Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2017–18 season and was confirmed as Arsenal manager on 23 May 2018.

Unai Emery is married to Luisa Fernandez since 1998. They have a son Lander (born March 29 2003).

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