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Emery is eyeing European glory after securing a place in the Champions League

Unai Emery hopes to replicate the great Aston Villa side of 1982 and lead the club to European glory.

Villa last night booked their place in the Champions League after Tottenham's 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City ensured they finished fourth in the Premier League.

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It capped off an impressive season under the impressive Emery, who could not hide his delight at getting the club into Europe's top club competition.

Speaking at the club's awards night – where players and fans watched Spurs go down twice to Erling Haaland, he said: “Today is a very important day. It's our dream, it was our dream when we started the season to be here.

“Playing the Champions League, after the Premier League, is the best.

“You can play in the Premier League with the best teams in the world, it's very difficult.

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

“And we are always responsible for the history here, we know that the history of Aston Villa is very long and successful.

“Even in the Champions League, before the World Cup, we knew that the task was to try to increase our level, to try to demand things by force and to dream.

“And now to win the Champions League like Aston Villa did in 1982, if we're there and we're there, it's much easier than if we're not there.

“Another important dream is to have dreams and try to make them come true.

“I want to enjoy more and, next year, now a new challenge begins for us. To rebuild the team, be stronger and stronger to go and keep raising our level.”

Villa have not qualified for the Champions League since 1982-83, when it was still the European Cup, and captain John McGinn was quick to highlight the journey he has been on since moving to the West Midlands in 2018.

He told the club's website: “On behalf of all the players, it's been an amazing season.

“Obviously, Tyrone [Mings] and I was on the Championship team, both of us, Jacob [Ramsey] and Kortney [Hause] there was only one left.

“There are four of us here who were part of that Championship trip.

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

“We have continued to build and we are thankful that we have achieved something that we have not done for 40 years.

“So, on behalf of all the players and staff, we are over the moon, we are happy.”

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