Valencia v Atletico Madrid

'The biggest game of my career'

April 26, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Valencia coach Unai Emery insists that Thursday's Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid will be the biggest game of his career.

Unai Emery
GettyImagesUnai Emery took over at Valencia in 2008

Emery's side are currently 4-2 down from the first leg and must put in a huge performance at the Mestalla if they have any hope of making the final in Bucharest.

"It's the biggest game of my career," Emery said. "It also is for many of our players. We have to not get anxious and ensure that we do the best job possible with only the match on our minds.

"The team have been inconsistent, and we have encountered bad games away from home, while we have fared better at home. In our last five home games, we have scored four goals, but what's different this time round? Atletico are our strongest rivals."

Ricardo Costa scored a 94th-minute goal at the Vicente Calderon to give Los Che some hope and Emery thinks that could be vital.

"Costa's late goal was invaluable to our first-leg result," he added. "However, Atletico also have the potential to score two as they showed in Hannover and against Besiktas.

"The first leg was very different from any league match I've encountered. Atletico are making a huge splash and [Diego] Simeone has given them a special touch.

"It is a challenge because we did not earn a result in Madrid. We start at a disadvantage and we need everyone to give their utmost. The fans who will fill the stadium will act as the 12th man."