The manager of Malaga CF, Javi Gracia, is not concerned with the fact that his team failed to register victory against the A-League side Perth Glory in a pre-season match yesterday. He believes that the fatigue was the reason why his boys couldn’t capitalize on the scoring chances in that match.
Malaga had begun the Australian tour with a bang by thrashing Adelaide United by a big margin of 5-1, but, against Perth Gory, they were not able to put up the same sort of show and could only play a draw.
In the press conference after the match against Perth, Garcia said, “We did struggle a little bit today, but, I am not worried. With so much of travelling and all, the boys were fatigued and it was clear the way they went about it on the pitch. There were some tired legs out there and that’s why, the chances could not be grabbed.”
“However, I would say this has been a good tour for us. We got to face a couple of quality sides and we were tested by them.”
“The game standard here is Australia seems to be decent. The league, of course, is not that big at this point of time, but, it’s been developing pretty well. I am very impressed.”
Malaga hadn’t had a great La Liga in the 2013-14 Season. They hadn’t managed to finish in top 10.
That prompted the club board to make change in the management and Gracia got the job.
In the last season, Gracia was in charge of CA Osasuna which suffered relegation after having finished at the 18th position.
Gracia has management experience of more than 10 years. He had started his career as manger in 2004 once his playing days were over.
Malaga managed to finish the season without much troubles largely because of the goals from striker Roque Santa Cruz. Even though the Paraguay striker finished the season with only six goals, they proved to be very important ones. Despite the financial troubles, the team finished just below the top half of the table. At 32 years of age, Santa Cruz still has a lot to offer for the Spanish outfit. He recently made his move to Malaga, and after the disappointing with Manchester city. Santa Cruz has often performed well with smaller teams and this has been the case with Blackburn Rovers as well.
Malaga will be able to do with the striker leading the attack next campaign after it is learnt that they could be losing another key player in the next few weeks. It has been stated that Barcelona are keeping tabs on Willy Caballero – the Malaga goalkeeper. Barcelona will be looking to sign at least two players in the summer after losing Victor Valdes and Pinto on free transfers towards the end of last season. They have already signed Borussia Mönchengladbach Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the close season but it is understood that they are also looking for a backup as well.
Caballero stated that he is happy to be linked with Barcelona. "I do not know if what they say will come true, but it is an honour and makes me proud. At the moment though there has been no contact. If [Barcelona] were to call, however, I would have to think about it. We would have to see, of course, if Malaga have any intention of selling me," said the goalkeeper, who has been playing in Spain for almost a decade. His previous clubs include the likes of Elche. He has been playing for Malaga since 2011.
Now with the transfer window closed, it’s safe to say that Willy Caballero will be staying with Malaga at least until the end of the current season which is something that Manchester City’s head coach Manuel Pellegrini might not be so pleased to hear.
Manuel Pellegrini was spotted making his way to his former club Malaga which sparked rumors of him wanting to sign the goalkeeper Caballero but no deals were actually made but there is no doubt that the Uruguayan is interested in bringing him to the Premier League and play for Manchester City.
Malaga did see some new players making their way to the club including the Ukrainian forward Oleksandr Iakovenko who arrived from Fiorentina and will be staying with the Spanish club until the end of the current campaign.
Iakovenko struggled on getting a spot into the starting lineup of Fiorentina’s head boss Vincenzo Montella and decided to try his luck somewhere else. The signing was officially confirmed after he completed his medical tests with his new club.
Another loan deal that Malaga managed to make in the month of January was signing the midfielder from Galatasaray, Nordin Amrabat who said that he actually had already received offers not only from Spain but Italy as well and the 26 years old player ultimately decided on making his move to Malaga instead of somewhere else.
“I had other offers on the table from Italy, Qatar…but the Málaga CF option was always the most interesting to me. I spoke to my other teammates, Affelay, El Hamdaoui and Riera, and making this decision was easy for me. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to play with Málaga CF, with quality players in one of the best Leagues in the world.’’ Amrabat stated after arriving to his new club.
The manager of Malaga CF, Bernd Schuster, might be given the axe pretty soon because of the regular poor performances of the team.
Malaga hasn’t played as well as they were supposed to in the Spanish top flight this season. They are placed at no. 10 in the La Liga points table at the moment. In the home games, they have performed decently, but, whenever they have played on away grounds, they have struggled. Out of the 9 away matches that they have played in the league so far, they have secured just 1 win and that itself tells the story.
Schuster hasn’t been in charge at Malaga since a long time. This is his debut season at the club. He had managed some top clubs like Real Madrid in the past, so, the Malaga board had brought him at La Rosaleda with huge expectations, but, he hasn’t fulfilled those expectations till now and the board has started to look for other options now.
The man who is believed to be a strong candidate to replace Schuster at Malaga is Dely Valdes. The 46 years old former Panamanian player has been at Malaga CF before as a player. He was a part of the coaching staff there as well for a brief period of time after his retirement. So, Malaga is not an unfamiliar place for him and he should not reject any offer thrown towards him by the club board.
Valdes has kept himself away from the media since the last couple of months. But, according to the reports, he also wants to make his way back to Spain.
Valdes has quite a bit of management experience. He has worked as the manager of the Panama national team as well.
The manager of Malaga FC, Bernd Schuster, has said that he had expected his side to play a bit more aggressively in the last match against Real Madrid. Malaga lost that match by 0-2 and moved down to no. 13 in the points table. It was their 4th league defeat this season. They have got just 9 points in 9 matches.
In the game against Madrid, one of the Malaga players put up a high class performance. It’s their goal keeper Willy Caballero. He was just magnificent throughout the game and Schuster hailed him in the post match press conference.
The Malaga boss said, “Willy had been brilliant for us in the last season as well and he has carried on the same form.”
“People generally give all the credit to the guys who score goals. The goalkeepers don’t get praised often enough. But, they are the ones who save you a number of times.”
When asked about the overall performance of his side, Schuster said, “Bernabeu is not an easy place to come and win games. You need to play very well to beat Madrid here and we couldn’t do that today. We were lacking aggression. We didn’t attack enough.”
“Madrid looked in control all the time. We couldn’t get them out of their comfort zone.”
When asked about the improved performance by the Madrid defenders, Schuster said, “It is hard for me to say anything about that because I think we didn’t test their defense.”
Some pundits were of the opinion that Malaga should have played with an extra midfielder rather than going with a couple of men upfront, but, Schuster didn’t agree to them. According to him, going with two strikers was the right ploy.
Malaga’s next match is against Celta Vigo. That match will be played at La Rosaleda on Saturday.
New Malaga signing Roque Santa Cruz has hailed new Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and believes the Chilean will be a huge success in England.
The Paraguayan international spent a part of last season on loan at Malaga from Manchester City under Pellegrini and the for Blackburn Rovers striker believes the Chilean engineer has all the credentials required to be a success in England and to be the manager that Manchester City were looking for as a long term solution.
He went on to add that it was tough to see someone like Roberto Mancini sacked because of the success he has brought to the club and the fans expected him to be around for a long time but in the end, it is a football club and it moves on as it has big dreams to achieve. Roque Santa Cruz admitted that he knows City are chasing the UEFA Champions League next and there are a very few manager around Europe at this moment who can deliver that title.
Santa Cruz went on to state that a manager of the quality of the Chilean deserves to be in charge of a top side and compete for and win trophies on a regular basis. He went on to add that one of the major plus points of the manager is that he can handle big name stars and their egos in a high profile dressing room and that is something which will hold Manchester City in good stead as they look ahead to a bright future.
Roque Santa Cruz also hailed the manager’s character as calm and composed and added that he likes to make players feel at home and make them believe they are a part of the project, which in the case of City, will make them a success.
Paraguay international striker Roque Santa Cruz has completed his move to Spanish side Malaga on a free transfer from former Premier league champions Manchester City. The 31 year old former Bayern Munich man has signed a three year deal with the club that will see him play through to the 2016/17 season as the club looks to bolster their striking options as they prepare for another assault on the UEFA Champions League places.
The player was released by Manchester City in June following an unsuccessful four year spell at the club after signing him for a whopping £ 18 million from Blackburn Rovers. Santa Cruz was brought to Blackburn by former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes who paid £ 3.8 million for his services to Bayern Munich in 2007. When Hughes was announced as the new Manchester City manager, he decided to bring the player who had been very successful under him in Lancashire and signed Roque Santa Cruz for a whopping fee.
However, injuries and poor form hampered his time at City and he found himself on the fringes, playing just 20 times for the club before being farmed out on loan. His last appearance for the Citizens came in November 2010.
He spent a part of last season on loan at Malaga under the current Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and scored eight goals for the club. It was his best return since his 23 goals in his first season in England when he was playing for Blackburn.
Roque Santa Cruz was visibly pleased after completing the signing with the Spanish club and admitted that he was pleased to have been able to put his Manchester City nightmare behind him and was looking forward to helping Malaga back into the UEFA Champions League places after losing out this year.
Roque Santa Cruz has said that he is thinking about signing for Botafogo which is a Brazilian club.
Cruz is currently a contracted player of Manchester City, but, he is playing for Malaga on loan. At the end of this season, Cruz’s contract with City will expire and in his recent interviews, Cruz has already made it clear that he is not going to sign a new deal with them. It means that he will join a new club.
There have been reports in the last few days that Botafogo is interested in Cruz and the Paraguayan striker also wants to sign for them. Those reports have turned out to be completely true.
When asked about his chances of joining Botafogo, Cruz said, “I am thinking about their offer. They are a huge club and Brazil is also a fantastic venue to play football.”
“We haven’t reached any agreement yet. I will first talk to my well wishers about this opportunity and then, will decide whether I should move to Brazil.”
“It’s right that I will be close to my country if I am playing in Brazil and that’s a great thing. That might influence my decision a little bit.”
Cruz’s performance for Malaga in the ongoing season has been quite good. He has featured for the Spanish club in 27 matches and has scored 7 goals.
When asked about his experience of playing in La Liga, Cruz said, “It’s been great playing in La Liga. It’s a great league and the standard of football is very high here.”
“I think we have also done quite well as a team in this season. We are in top 5 at the moment and that’s because we have remained consistent right through the season. Hopefully, by the end of the season, we will move further up in the table.”
Roque Santa Cruz has said that he will not sign a new contract for Manchester City at the end of this season.
Cruz was signed by City in June 2009. City had bought him from Blackburn Rovers after paying a transfer fee of 17.5 million Pounds. Cruz had signed a contract of 4 years for City.
Cruz never managed to cement his place in the starting line up of City. In the first couple of seasons, he was benched in most of the matches.
Cruz has spent the last two seasons playing on loan for different clubs. In January 2011, he was placed on loan to his former club Blackburn Rovers. In the next season, he played for Real Betis on loan and currently, he is playing for Malaga CF.
Cruz’s contract with Manchester City is going to expire at the end of the ongoing season and the Paraguayan striker has made it clear that he is not going to sign a new deal with his current club.
When asked if he would like to sign a new contract for City at the end of this season, Cruz said, “No, I am not going to sign a new deal. At the end of this season, I will be out of contract and I will leave Manchester City.”
“My tenure at City was quite good. I played under two managers during my time at City and I had fine tuning with both of them.”
When asked if he thinks that he should have been given more playing opportunities at City, Cruz said, “I would have liked to play more matches, but, I won’t blame anybody for that. I got a few playing opportunities, but, I didn’t perform well in those matches. Had I performed well, I would definitely have got more playing chances.”
Malaga has defeated Real Madrid in a La Liga match played at Estadio La Rosaleda on Saturday. Malaga won the match by a close margin of 3-2. This was Real Madrid’s fourth defeat in the ongoing La Liga. However, despite this defeat, Real Madrid is still at no. 3 in the La Liga points table with 33 points. Madrid has won 10 out of the 17 matches that it has played in the league. It has lost 4, while, in the remaining three matches, it had to share points.
On the other hand, this was Malaga’s 9th victory in the competition. This victory took Malaga to no. 4 in the points table, Malaga has also played 17 matches in the league so far out of which it has won 9, lost 4 and the remaining 4 matches have finished without any result. Malaga currently has 31 points in 17 matches.
Although Malaga was playing on its home ground but, the kind of form Real Madrid had shown in the last few games, Jose Mourinho’s team was clearly the favourite to win the match. But, that wasn’t the case to be. The Malaga team stood up to the expectations of about 28,000 people who had come to cheer for the home side and stunned Real Madrid.
Earlier, the manager of Real Madrid surprised everyone by not including Iker Casillas in the starting XI. On Casillas’ place, Antonio Adan was included in the starting XI.
Roque Santa Cruz was the stand out performer for Malaga in the match. He scored a couple of goals in a space of three minutes and made sure that his team would come out victorious.
Malaga will play its next match against Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Municipal de Riazor on Saturday.