Quique Setien returns to LaLiga, replaces Unai Emery at Villarreal

Quique Setien returns to LaLiga after accepting the job to replace Unai Emery as the Villarreal manager this week, as he will make his debut in the Europa Conference League tiff against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. 

With the former Sevilla boss returning to England after getting the vacancy at Aston Villa with Steven Gerrad’s sacking, it marked the comeback of the 64-year-old in the Spanish top flight, barely two years since his unceremonious dismissal in Barcelona. 

Mr. Good Ebening’s stellar record with the Yellow Submarine

unai emery

The 50-year-old Emery had left El Madrigal in good hands before heading to the Midlands, as Villarreal were inside the top 10 in La Liga and were already qualified to the next round of the Conference League knockout phase after winning their first four ties in group C. 

It was a different from the club that he took over back in 2020, as it saw the Yellow Submarine reached new heights.

On his debut campaign, they won their first major trophy as a top-tier side when they beat Manchester United to claim the Europa League, and the fourth overall for the Basque native. 


The following season saw them reached the last four of the Champions League for the first time after 16 years, in which they recorded upsets against Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knockout phase before their Cinderella run was struck by Liverpool at midnight. 

In just these two-plus terms, Emery cemented his claim as the greatest Villarreal boss. 

El Maestro is back in the Primera 

Quique Setien

The Racing Santander legend has ended his two-year hiatus from the sidelines, with Villarreal being his fourth LaLiga stop in his colorful career. 

After toiling in the lower levels of Spanish football, he first made his name in Las Palmas, guiding them to a mid-table finish in 2016. 

Real Betis picked him up just months after leaving the Canary Islands in 2017, and guided them to Europe on the first of his two seasons there. 

Setien found himself with the Blaugrana as the Catalan club sacked Ernesto Valverde in January 2020, guiding them to second behind eventual champions Real Madrid before being sacked in August when Bayern rolled them over 8-2 in the Champions League quarterfinal.