‘The Yellow Submarine going for glory!’: Spanish media rally behind Villarreal to ‘save the face of Spanish football’ as they prepare for Manchester United in the Europa League final tonight
- Villarreal faces Manchester United in the club’s first major final
- Spanish media hope victory in Villarreal will ‘save the face of Spanish football’
- Boss Unai Emery is aiming for his fourth victory in the Europa League on Wednesday
The Spanish media have rallied behind Villarreal as they prepare to play in their first ever major European final with Manchester United tonight.
The Unai Emery men meet the Red Devils in Gdansk, Poland, knowing that the victory would not only bring their first piece of continental silverware, but also secure a place in the Champions League next season.
And the Spanish media threw their support behind LaLiga on Wednesday in an unusual show of united support, as the Spanish sports press is usually split between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Marca’s front page throws his support behind Villarreal in the run-up to the Europa League final
AS has a festive front page of the Villarreal fans who are ready for the final in Gdansk
“The yellow submarine goes for glory!” is reading Marca’s front page. The Yellow Submarine enters the very first final without fear.
United is looking for another double for English football in Europe. Emery is aiming for his fourth Europa League. ‘
The sentiment is echoed through AS, who have a photo of Villarreal supporters in Gdansk ahead of the final on their front page.
That publication says a win for Villarreal would “save the face of Spanish football in a difficult year,” reflecting the struggles of their two superpowers in Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Madrid was beaten in the Champions League semi-final by Chelsea, which will face Manchester City in Saturday’s final, while Barcelona crashed into Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.
LaLiga champion Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, has also been eliminated by Chelsea, alongside Barca in the round of 16.
Villarreal finished seventh in the LaLiga table for 2020-21 and as Marca pointed out on their front page, Emery has a significant pedigree in the Europa League after winning the tournament three times during his time as Sevilla boss.
Unai Emery’s side pictured at the Gdansk Arena in Poland on the eve of the final with United
Emery has won the Europa League three times before, all those victories with Sevilla
The Spanish newspaper Sport focuses on the uncertainty surrounding Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman
Those wins took place in three consecutive seasons – in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Elsewhere in the Spanish media there are statements of support in other publications such as Sport but their main focus is on the uncertainty over Ronald Koeman’s place as Barcelona manager, as well as the club’s pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
Koeman is under closer scrutiny after Barcelona finished third in LaLiga. Whether Koeman stays or goes, Barça is expected to take over Liverpool’s Wijnaldum for a three-year deal once his deal expires at Anfield in June.