Villarreal's Pau Lopez: We couldn't allow both European finals to be English

Villarreal's Pau Lopez: We couldn't allow both European finals to be English

Once again, football was poetic. And vengeful. Arsenal was eliminated from the Europa League by their manager who became a laughing stock in England mostly due to his language skills. He still has a better record than the current Gunners manager Mikel Arteta but now also has the direct bragging rights over the London side.

In the semi-finals' second leg, Villarreal held to a goalless draw that was enough to schedule the final with Manchester United. Their achievement denied England over dominating European football completely, as the Champions League final has two Premier League sides. While United's win over Roma was secured in the first leg.

Defender Pau Lopez, a local boy from a small town of 50,000 people that is Villarreal, didn't miss that fact.

"We couldn't allow both European finals to be English. To have Villarreal representing Spanish football and reach the first final of our history is truly moving. Everybody deserves it, the fans, the president, our old teammates," said the highly-rated defender.

Lopez was a boy when Arsenal eliminated his team from the Champions League semifinal before they were defeated by Barcelona in 2006. While most European fans consider Villarreal one of the top seven biggest clubs in Spain, this is in fact the first time the Yellow Submarine has reached a final. Not a European one, any final. In their 98-year long history.

Their fourth Europa League final resulted in their first final. For their manager, the vindicated Unai Emery, it's his fifth final in the competition. Having reached it with Sevilla three times, Arsenal once in 2019, and now with another Spanish side.

He won it all three times with Sevilla, while with Arsenal he was defeated by Chelsea. His biggest EL success was the 2016 triumph with the Andalusians over Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool 3:1.


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