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Champions League key in Emery´s decision to stay at Sevilla

Unai Emery turned down the chance to replace Rafael Benitez at Napoli to lead Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League this season.

The Spanish coach met Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis to discuss a move to Serie A after winning the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla for the second season running in June, but he rejected the opportunity.

Napoli eventually turned to former Empoli boss Maurizio Sarri, with Emery revealing the lure of Europe’s elite club competition kept him in Spain for another campaign.

“I thank the president of Napoli, I was pleased to meet him, we had a nice conversation,” he told the Corriere Dello Sport. “Napoli has a lot to offer a coach: it is a league that is attractive to me, a team with good players, some of them I know them. 

“In addition, the face-to-face meeting with De Laurentiis was positive. Who knows that the future will be, there may be an adventure in Naples, but right now was not the time to leave Sevilla.

“My priority is the Champions League and Napoli could not give me that, while Sevilla could.”

Emery has backed former striker Carlos Bacca to have a positive impact in Serie A after agreeing a deal with Milan, despite his own frustrations at not being able to keep the Colombian at Sevilla.

He added: “Carlos is an example of what it means to grow. His strength is hunger and ambition, because he has no limits, and that’s why he did what he did in Seville. I am very proud to have worked and have contributed to his maturity. 

“Now he is in Milan, with a top club. He has the chance to play for a great team that is asleep, and he wants to wake up this Milan and be part of this revival. 

“For him it is an opportunity and he has all it takes to succeed.”

Thu 9 Jul, 2015
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