Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca has admitted that working under Unai Emery has made him into a more complete footballer.
The Colombian joined Los Rojiblancos from Club Brugge in July 2013 for a reported €7m and has since plundered 31 goals from 67 La Liga appearances, as well as netting some vital goals in European competition.
“Emery is a very demanding Coach who never lets you relax. He is always trying to get the best out of you and that’s been reflected in my performances,” the 28-year-old told UEFA.com.
“There are qualities I’ve now added to my game, like defending more and helping the team. At previous clubs my role was more about scoring but at Sevilla I also have defensive duties.
“Sometimes other teams can get on top of you but by defending you can get better opportunities in attack, and Emery has showed us that.
“I’m more involved in the game now. I play further back, find space better and get more chances in front of goal.”
Bacca scored the equaliser in Sevilla’s 2-1 Europa League quarter-final first leg home victory over Zenit last week, and admits the club has lost none of its hunger for success in the competition.
“With Sevilla having won it three times there’s a lot of excitement about playing in it, although we don’t just want to play in it – we want to win it.
“It’s not going to be easy, we know that, but the Europa League is a competition that Sevilla and its fans like a lot.
“Hopefully we’ll get past Zenit and my old club Brugge will also get into the next round, so we’ll end up facing each other sooner or later.
“I’d like to go back to the Jan Breydel Stadium and feel the affection of the fans. It would be something special to play against them,” he conceded.