The player of the Villarreal Dani Parejo expressed that he considers the UEFA final Europa League against him Manchester United as a kind of reward for his career and persistence, which has led to his first European final in his first season with the yellow team after leaving Valencia last summer.
“I was very unlucky to lose several semi-finals, one (with Valencia against Emery’s Sevilla in 2014) was especially cruel. But a few years later football gives me a chance for revenge. Thanks to my perseverance and my work, I am playing in a Europa League final, and not many people can say that, ”he said in an interview with UEFA.
The 32-year-old Spanish international indicated that he decided to sign for Villarreal because it is a serious and stable club that was doing things very well and pointed out that the team has gone for everything from the first game.
“Playing in Europe at this level and reaching the final undefeated is not easy. However, we have succeeded. Winning one more match and winning the trophy would be incredible. It is a trophy that the club deserves, because a town of 50,000 inhabitants that achieves what Villarreal is achieving has a lot of merit, “he said.
The Madrid midfielder, who began his career at Real Madrid and has been through Queens Park Rangers, Getafe and Valencia, among others, analyzed that they face the team that, in his opinion, is the favorite for the title since he arrived from the Champions League.
“Manchester United are a great team, especially in attack. They have first-rate players: Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba. But we will prepare as for any other game, playing as before: as a team, “he added.
Parejo also commented that the team’s journey through the competition has been difficult due to the level of the rivals and the distance of the trips, which “were hard, with flights of four or five hours that wear you out physically and mentally.” “We advanced as first and we had one of the most difficult rivals: Salzburg. A Champions League level team. Then came Dynamo Kiev, another long trip. We had bad weather conditions, but we competed well and got a great result: 0-2. On the return leg we won 2-0 at halftime and we kept going, ”he recalled.
“Then we had Dinamo Zagreb, who were undefeated at home in all competitions. We prevailed in a very close match (0-1) and in the second leg, everything went well for us (2-1). And so we reached the semifinals and Arsenal, one of the favorites of the tournament. We played very well, especially the first leg at home (2-1) and in the second leg, a single goal in would have taken them to the final, but we held on ”, he said.
See Emery as a born winner
Regarding Unai Emery, Parejo considered the Basque coach as a “born winner”, who from the first moment made it clear that it was necessary to go step by step, that it is very difficult to reach a final and it is even more difficult to win it.
“But he has given it the attention and importance it needed at every step. He won the Europa League (three times) with Sevilla, reached the final with Arsenal. It is a very dear competition for him and that he loves ”, he added.
Finally, Parejo, who is about to fight for his second trophy of his career, highlighted the ambition of the club.
“Now I am here, but I have always seen his ambition from the outside. This season they play their fifth European semifinal. The president and all the people of the club know what their objective is and where they want to go. I think that differentiates them from the rest: they are small, a family club where everyone is very clear about things, “he concluded.