Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has said that he expects Malaga to qualify for the Champions League semifinals against all the odds.
At the start of the season, not many would have expected Malaga to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition ahead of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. However, they have reached this stage and they will be playing against German club Borussia Dortmund. This will be one of the toughest matches for the Spanish club given that Dortmund have proved that they are capable of beating the best.
Despite being in a group containing Real Madrid and Manchester City, Dortmund were able to qualify for the latter stages of the competition. Due to the fact that they also do not have any commitments on the league – after losing the title to Bayern Munich, they will be shifting their entire focus on the European competition. This coupled with the fact that the second leg is at Dortmund means that not many are giving Malaga a chance to progress to the semifinals. Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has achieved this feat before with yet another small team in the form of Villarreal.
Former City striker Santa Cruz has been one of the reasons for Malaga’s impressive form this season. “Football is a beautiful sport. When you think everything is not possible, then something happens. I think we have the players, and we also have the ambience in the team, to go there and play a great game and qualify. The thing is to see that everything is possible there,” said the Paraguayan in a recent interview. Santa Cruz has made 26 appearances for Malaga this season. He has scored six goals in these matches, as the team sit sixth in the table below the likes of Real Sociedad and Valencia.