‘We had to win for Puerta’

Unai Emery revealed Sevilla still think of the late Antonio Puerta and the kit man said they ‘had to win the Europa League for him.’

Puerta passed away suddenly in August 2007, having been part of the Sevilla team that won the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007, and was commemorated by the t-shirts the 2016 squad wore after coming from behind to beat Liverpool.

“The fans packed the ground and allowed our players to feel like we were at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Antonio remains in our heads and we had the t-shirts ready. The kit man told me before the match we had to win for him,” Emery told his post-match Press conference, AS reports.

“Liverpool are a great team and in the first half found their place on the pitch but I told the players we had to be ourselves and let go, remember how we play at the Sanchez Pizjuan. I said ‘forward, forward.’ I’m happy for Sevillistas that they’re happy for this.

“This is the competition Sevillistas want. And we love it so much and we’ve found it and it gives us happiness. The Champions League is another opportunity to grow. We were excited for that competition this year but drew [Manchester] City and Juventus. The process is the key, not the final. We enjoy that.

“The Europa League has grown and gives an opportunity to smaller clubs. But we’re not fools. We want to take a step at Champions League level.”

Tags Antonio Puerta Unai Emery