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Emery: It's a dream to be in the Champions League

15 May 2024
Unai Emery celebrates

Unai Emery says it is special for Aston Villa to qualify for the competition for the first time

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Unai Emery says Aston Villa are living a dream after confirming a fourth-place finish and qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League.

Villa are guaranteed to finish fourth after Tottenham Hotspur's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday left Spurs five points behind with only one match remaining. 

Villa's players and staff watched the match while at their end-of-season awards night and the moment they secured Champions League football for the first time in the club's history was captured on camera.

Watch Villa celebrate Spurs 0-2 Man City

“It’s a very special day today,” Emery told the club's official website.

“It’s our dream, it was our dream when we started the season to be here.”

“To play Champions League is, after the Premier League, the best. You can play in the Premier League against the best teams in the world, it’s very difficult.

“When you are playing in the Champions League you are playing against the best teams, at the same time, from other countries. And it’s amazing.

“And we are always responsible about the history here, we know the history of Aston Villa is so long and so successful."

From Championship to Champions League

Securing Champions League football for 2024/25 is extra special to captain John McGinn, who is one of a few players who have helped take Villa from the Championship to Europe's elite. 

Tyrone [Mings] and I were at the club in the Championship, us two, Jacob [Ramsey] and Kortney [Hause] were the only ones remaining," McGinn said.

“There’s four of us here who were part of that Championship journey.

“We got promoted, we got into the Premier League and were seven points behind with four games to play, we managed to stay in the league.

“We kept building and thankfully we’ve achieved something we haven’t done for 40 years.

“So, on behalf of all the players and staff, we’re over the moon, we’re delighted.”

See: Race for Europe: Who else will qualify?

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