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Unai Emery talks Conference League qualification and issues verdict on Kylian Mbappe decision

Emery will get his first taste of the Europa Conference League next season

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - Liga Santander
Emery will fancy adding another European title to his collection
Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

Unai Emery has issued his thoughts son Villarreal’s season, while also weighing in on the Kylian Mbappe debate.

Villarreal ensured qualification for Europe on Sunday, beating Barcelona in La Liga’s final weekend thanks to goals from Alfonso Pedraza and Moi Gomez.

The Yellow Submarine finished seventh, sending them into the Conference League.

And while that’s not what they would have wanted coming into the season, the trade-off was a worthy one, with the Yellows reaching the Champions League semi-finals for only the second time in their history.

Next season, Villarreal and Emery will get their first taste of the Conference League, which only started this season.

And Emery has now spoken about the competition, and indeed his side’s qualification for it.

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - Liga Santander
Emery is pleased with Villarreal’s season
Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

“A European tournament. That is something that, on a sentimental level, the fact that I could lose it would have affected me since I had been playing in Europe for 14 years,” he said.

“Europe gives you another dimension. The Conference - we haven’t found its value yet - but this year the final will be Feyenoord and Roma, we already know that.

“Villarreal started playing in the Intertoto! I am especially happy with the season. And when it has rained, you wait for the sun again.”

Emery was asked about Mbappe, a player he worked with at PSG.

Mbappe appeared destined to join Real Madrid this summer before signing a new mega contract to stay at PSG until at least 2025.

“It’s very personal,” Emery said. “I have a lot of respect for the boy, but it (the decision) has arrived very late.

“The timings have not been right for football.”