Sevilla coach Unai Emery has been one of the hottest names in football management in recent years.
Since returning to Spain in January 2013, the 43-year-old tactician has guided Sevilla to back-to-back Europa League titles, while helping his side become the only club in the history of the competition to secure the trophy four times.
Last season’s Europa League victory means Sevilla have already qualified for this season’s UEFA Champions League group stages, and Emery is looking to build on his side’s recent European successes by beating heavy-favorites Barcelona in tomorrow’s UEFA Super Cup in Tbilisi.
Programming note: The UEFA Super Cup will be shown live Tuesday at 2pm ET on FOX Sports 1. Even if you don’t get FS1 or you won’t be able to watch it live from work, you can watch Barcelona vs. Sevilla live with a free 7-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO. The service streams the broadcast to your computer, tablet or smartphone.
The Sevilla coach knows his team enters the contest as underdogs. But Emery says his squad is focused on securing their first piece of silverware this season, and believes his players are more than ready for the challenge of defeating last year’s domestic and European champions, Barcelona.
“First of all, we’re starting the season knowing we have the chance to win a trophy in our first match,” Emery told UEFA.com.
“Only the chosen ones can play in the finals. We are champions and we’ll go into it roaring to win.”
“Barcelona are favorites but we will go there with the dream we can spring a surprise. If we beat them, it will boost our confidence and our profile, and give us much-needed impetus for the campaign ahead.
“It’s one more opportunity. An opportunity to enjoy ourselves against a great opponent who will be favorite to win but we will work hard to overcome them. We want to play a lot of games against Barcelona in the future because it means we are at the top level.
“Tomorrow will be a continuation of what we achieved last season in the Europa League. We are happy to be here. We will play with our head and from our heart.”
This will be the third all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup, all featuring Sevilla including their 2006 victory over Barcelona in which Dani Alves scored against his future club.
Barcelona will be playing in a record ninth UEFA Super Cup, having won the title four times previously.
Unai Emery has not defeated Barcelona in his 19 encounters as coach of Almeria, Valencia, Spartak Moskva and Sevilla; drawing six and losing thirteen.
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