Malaga CF diehards up and down the Andalucian coast-line were rip-roaring in celebration last week following the news of the high-profile signing of Dutch international Ruud van Nistelrooy. The ex Real Madrid and Manchester United star’s capture will go down as owner Sheikh Al-Thani’s first notable signing since his acquisition of the club in 2010 and with a myriad of big-name signings no doubt on their way to La Rosaleda this summer, Malaga are poised to challenge at the very top of La Liga in their second season under their new ownership.
Whilst Van Nistelrooy’s best days are clearly behind him, the sentiment of his acquisition still rings true – Malaga’s rich new owner means business and why shouldn’t he if is vast personal worth of $2.4 billion is anything to go by? If other rumoured big names such as French international Jeremy Toulalon and Brazil legend Lucio make the switch to the Andalucian captial, Malaga will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with come next season.
Whilst their rivals face a losing battle to keep hold of their big names such as want-away striker Sergio Aguero at Athletico Madrid and Giuseppe Rossi at Villareal, Malaga will be looking to continue to bolster their ever-improving squad in this summer’s busy transfer window which will come as a relief for neutrals and fans alike as La Liga has turned into a solely Madrid v Barcelona affair in recent times.
A ludicrous 21 points difference seperated Real Madrid and Valencia in the La Liga table last season, which provides ample opportunity for Malaga to assert themselves as La Liga contendors next season and provide that much-needed buffer between 2nd and 3rd place – a vast turnaround on recent year’s achievements.
It took the clever additions of Martin Demechelis and Julio Baptista in the January transfer window to dig Malaga out of a hole as they flirted with relegation last year, but they should have no worries next season under the careful leadership of manager Manuel Pellegrini and with money clearly being no object, Los Boquerones clearly have what it takes to mix it with the big boys for years to come.
How will they be able to attract big name players to Costa Del Sol, when they cannot offer European football and all the big clubs in Europe from Juventus in Serie A, to Bayern Munich in Bundesliga and Man United in the EPL are rumoured to have cash to throw around?
You’re right in some respects but with La Liga the way it is i.e. the gap between barca/madrid and the rest, it wouldn’t take much for a team like Malaga to stake a top 4 spot considering comparitively low spending power of other rival clubs i.e. Athletico, Villareal etc. If the transfer rumours are true, there’s no denying Malaga will have an attractive looking squad next season. 7/1 to qualify for Champions League football looks a good bet in my opinion.