FRANCIS COQUELIN claims Villarreal’s Europa League win over Manchester United was “revenge” against Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Alex made the comments in his 2013 autobiography, released just months after his retirement.
Coquelin made his Arsenal debut in their 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford in August 2011.
And Ferguson slammed the Frenchman’s performance in his book, saying Coquelin was “completely out of his depth.”
Sir Alex added: “[I] had hardly heard of him and he barely played again.”
However, Coquelin has since gone on to become a key figure under Unai Emery at Villarreal.
He joined them from Valencia in 2020, having quit Arsenal two years earlier following 160 appearances and two FA Cup wins.
Coquelin then scooped more silverware when Villarreal defeated United on penalties in last season’s Europa League final.
And he now claims the result was “revenge” for Fergie’s cruel comments, saying: “It was a bit of revenge.
“When I made my Arsenal debut Sir Alex criticised me, so it was a nice turnaround to win against them.
“Plus I think he was in the stands as well, so lifting the trophy in front of him was nice.
“I was looking for him, he must have seen me.”
Things could get even better for Coquelin this season.
That’s because Villarreal knocked out Juventus and Bayern Munich to set up a Champions League semi-final showdown against Liverpool.
The two sides collide in the first leg tomorrow.
But following their recent upsets, there will be few surprises if Villarreal make it three on the bounce by ending Liverpool’s Quadruple hopes.