Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Malaga's players share a light moment in training at the Rosaleda stadium.
Malaga's players share a light moment in training at the Rosaleda stadium.

Supporters breathe easy as Malaga ship steadies

The omens are good. Finally, Malaga fans can relax and enjoy the moment.

Malaga fans could not have hoped for any more six weeks ago. Following a close season when they should have been at their happiest having qualified for Champions League for the first time, they were instead worried that their club was going to implode.

Star players, such as the winger Santi Cazorla and the striker Jose Rondon were sold in what appeared to be the first stage of a fire sale, other expensively assembled stars complained they had not had their full wages paid, while rival clubs claimed they were owed money from transfers.

To compound the situation, local media reported that the club was up for sale and Malaga's Qatari owner - Sheikh Abdullah bin Nassar - did little to dampen the speculation by saying nothing.

That was then. Malaga did not implode. The government confiscated some of the money from Cazorla's transfer to Arsenal to pay debts, while Uefa withheld prize money for others.

Vague assurances were given by the owners that the they had to make adjustments ahead of the implementation of Uefa's Financial Fair Play, but the bulk of the team which finished fourth last season was retained under Manuel Pellegrini, the coach.

They also signed the Argentine striker Javier Saviola and then started the league in excellent form with three wins and a draw from their first four games.

Saviola scored and was man of the match in Saturday's 3-1 win against Levante which lifted Malaga to second in the table.

No Primera Liga team have conceded fewer goals than Malaga so far, but their most important triumph of this season was against Panathinaikos, a victory which ensured they qualified for the Champions League group stage.

Malaga will play alongside AC Milan, Anderlecht and Zenit Saint Petersburg, who spent €80 million (Dh360m) on two players - Axel Witzel, from Benfica, and Hulk, from Porto - in the transfer window.

The Russians visit Malaga, who spent a similar amount in the 2011 transfer window, tonight at a sold-out Rosaleda. That is the Zenit whom Saviola scored three against while playing for Sevilla. The omens are good. Finally, Malaga fans can relax and enjoy the moment.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Faisal Al Ketbi, standing, has been the poster boy for the upcoming Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Faisal Al Ketbi is in spotlight for world jiu-jitsu championships at Abu Dhabi

Faisal Al Ketbi is the poster boy for UAE jiu-jitsu, with his picture prominent in the billboards and advertisements for this week’s Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

 Broadcast crews have been working to adjust UAE's cricket stadiums, such as Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, for the IPL, such as installing the cables for cameras. The opening match between Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders is April 16, 2014 at at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

IPL turns UAE into cricket’s world stage

The Indian Premier League’s UAE schedule will be a television production emanating in the Middle East, choreographed from Singapore and involving a Belgian who happily admits to being a cricket novice.

 Lalit Modi during the 2010 Indian Premier League T20 Final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings played at DY Patil Stadium on April 25, 2010 in Navi Mumbai, India. Ritam Banerjee / Getty Images

IPL’s best moments: April 25, 2010 - Modi’s final farewell

Lalit Modi, the league’s first commissioner, knew his days were numbered when he made a closing speech ahead of the 2010 tournament finale.

 Abdelaziz Haikal, left, avoids getting tackled, but his Al Ahli side were forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal, from Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli miss huge opportunity to progress in ACL

Dubai side forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal. Ahmed Rizvi reports.

 Godolphin is hoping to get a clear picture of  Ihtimal at Newmarket. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Godolphin to get a good look at Ihtimal’s form at Newmarket

The true abilities of Godolphin’s Ihtimal will be brought more into focus on Wednesday after a trio of fillies turn out at the headquarters of British racing for trainer Charlie Appleby.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National