Soccer-Villarreal have 'great chance' of toppling United, says Senna

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Europa League Final - Villarreal Training

By Anita Kobylinska

GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) - Villarreal have a great chance of causing a surprise and beating star-studded Manchester United in Wednesday's Europa League final if they play as they have done all season, the club's former captain Marcos Senna said.

"Villarreal don't have to change the way they play," Senna, a Euro 2008 winner with Spain, told Reuters.

"Obviously, I don't like to pronounce the words 'whatever happens' but that's the way it is -- whatever happens, we must continue on the same path as we have done so far. I think that if we do, we have a great chance of winning."

Senna played for Villarreal from 2002 until 2013 and has spent the last five years as the club's director of institutional relations.

The former midfielder believes the team are in the hands of a 'total specialist' in coach Unai Emery, a triple Europa League winner with Sevilla and runner-up with Arsenal, who can help them secure long-awaited European glory.

"We have always been very close to taking this step, which was to get past the semi-finals and reach the final. When we signed Unai, there was a lot of excitement in the city -- and no wonder, because (now) we are in the final," Senna said.

He said striker Gerard Moreno was likely to be Villarreal's danger man in the match.

"Gerard has contributed at a very high percentage, compared to the others," said Senna.

"But it goes down the line. Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza, Etienne Capoue, Dani Parejo are the players who do the dirty work, but it is a fundamental job so Gerard can develop what he has been doing until now."

Asked if Villarreal had any fear before taking on United, Senna responded: "I don't think so. There is maximum hope.

"It's not impossible but we'll have to run a lot because we're up against a very powerful Manchester United.

"Obviously, Manchester United are favourites -- by titles, by history, by budget. But football is won on the pitch."

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska; editing by Clare Fallon)

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