Spartak name Emery new coach
© AFP

Spartak Moscow have named former Valencia man Unai Emery as head coach after clinching a UEFA Champions League spot in the last match of the 2011/12 season.

The Russian giants had been coached since 2009 by their one-time star midfielder Valery Karpin, who also serves as the club's general director and had been seeking to give up his coaching duties for much of the past year.

Team owner Leonid Fedun said on Monday that Spartak needed "fresh coaching ideas" as they try to overcome repeat champions Zenit St. Petersburg and win their first Russian title since 2001.

The club, which has one of the largest fan bases in Russia and celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, clinched second in the Russian Premier League with a 2-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow on Sunday.

A surprise loss by CSKA Moscow and draw by fellow city rivals Dinamo saw Spartak finish second, 13 points behind Zenit. Emery left Valencia in June after a four-year stint that saw him guide the team into the Champions League.