Press conference

'I grew up watching Villarreal, it'll be special'

When Pablo Mari was growing up near Valencia, he took great interest in his local side's rivalry with the club just up the coast, Villarreal.

Now the centre back will go up against 'the Yellow Submarine' in the Europa League semi-final, and admits it will have a special significance for him and his family.
"Of course, I grow up in Valencia and supported Villarreal and Valencia," Mari said. "Of course they are the two teams in my city, every time when I was looking they beat Villarreal, I remember a lot of games I watched them and you think, 'I want one time to play for them.'
"You grow up with that dream. Now I am in the  moment where I am going to play against them in a semi-final of the Europa League.
"I am really glad to be here to fight for Arsenal in that semi-final and I am really happy and it's going to be really special for me against Villarreal.
"I have to say that Villarreal is a big club, the owners are doing the right things over the past couple of years. They took a really good decisions for the club, they have a really strong academy and use it a lot for the young players, they are doing really well with this kind of thing and you can see it that they are growing the club.
"I am really glad because they are doing the right things and you can see that they are playing for a semi-final in the Europa League and that tells you they are doing good things."

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