Last Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund will stick long in the memory of Malaga fans. Not only was the result a harsh reflection on a great team effort by the Andalusians but also it could mark the start of this team’s decline. The comments by president Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani that the 3-2 defeat was down to “racism” have given the fans something to distract them in the aftermath but once the hum-drum of the league kick backs in then it will be time to take stock of what the future might hold.
The defeat in Germany not only marked the conclusion of a remarkable run in the Champions League that upset a lot of punters’ European football betting coupons but also the end of Malaga’s European adventures for the foreseeable future. Unless Los Boquerones are successful in their appeal against their one year ban by Uefa then it doesn’t matter where they finish in La Liga this season.
It is tough to see Malaga maintaining their current position in the standings given that the players have little to play for, except pride and a bit of prize money. The club’s run-in in the league is hardly the easiest either with Barcelona and Real Madrid still to play.
With no European football next season and the taps to Al Thani’s bank accounts still seemingly shut off, Malaga are set to sell off some of the big names who were attracted to the project at La Rosaleda just two years after it started. Already Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal have bid farewell to the Costa del Sol, and there are likely to be more who leave this summer. Isco is the name on a lot of people’s lips at the moment. Malaga would loathe selling him but might not have much choice if they are to balance the books.
The future is seemingly pretty bleak for Malaga, with only an injection of cash from their Middle Eastern owner likely to save them from the start of a scary looking downward spiral.