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VUSA Pod #72: EUROPA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

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Allen, Robin, Rahul and Maddi celebrate

Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final
The save we’ll always remember.
Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A very special pod on a very special day—no real theme, just happy babbling. Well, that’s not quite true—we do assess Unai Emery’s tactics on the day and his influence throughout the season, we note the dressing room leadership of players like Raul Albiol and Dani Parejo, but mostly we’re just shaking our heads in wonderment. Futból can throw up many wonderful things, but Geronimo Rulli scoring the winning PK in an 11-10 shootout was....not really anything anyone could have predicted.

Some of the players we picked up once Unai Emery became coach were key pieces of this puzzle, sometimes used in ways we could not have foreseen (Juan Foyth at RB, for example). Etienne Capoue was an incredible injury reinforcement when Iborra went down. But we also had five cantera players who had been part of our 2012-13 promotion squad in yesterday’s team; four of them played, three of them took and converted penalties (and of course Gerard scored our goal in regular time). And then we had the emergence of younger players developed in our system—Samu (sadly injured for the final), Yeremy Pino, Dani Raba, etc.

I am sure we will have some roster moves during the summer, of course, but time for that later. Right now, enjoy, and Endavant Villarreal!!!!!