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Málaga celebrate 'fantastic achievement'

Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 8.10CET
Málaga CF scorers Isco and Roque Santa Cruz reflected on their goals and taking the club past FC Porto into the quarter-finals – a dream for boyhood fan Jesús Gámez.
by Graham Hunter
from La Rosaleda

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Published: Thursday 14 March 2013, 8.10CET

Málaga celebrate 'fantastic achievement'

Málaga CF scorers Isco and Roque Santa Cruz reflected on their goals and taking the club past FC Porto into the quarter-finals – a dream for boyhood fan Jesús Gámez.

Goals from Isco and Roque Santa Cruz mean that Málaga CF are "living the dream" as far as the Paraguayan striker is concerned. Eliminating FC Porto from the UEFA Champions League despite having been criticised for a weak performance in the first leg is probably the biggest achievement in the Andalusian club's history, and with Friday's quarter-final draw to come, there is yet more excitement ahead.

Roque Santa Cruz, Málaga forward
This is amazing. We were dreaming about a win like this right from the time we lost in Porto. We thought it would be hard and it was, but now all our work has paid off. It's a fantastic achievement for Málaga and whatever happens in the next round it's already something magnificent for the club. We are living a dream.

We feel the community's pride during each one of our daily training sessions. If you've been playing at big clubs for a long time you learn to always think about winning for the community, winning under pressure. That's important for us – we have people who know how to win under that kind of pressure. It's the ideal situation because we have guys with lots of experience, who think big and who have the winning mentality having been through this previously. That's the mentality this club deserves.

As far as the winning goal goes, there are many times you try to do too much when you make your run. This time I saw where the ball was going to come and I kind of expected it. It's always a little bit of luck to stand in the right place but instinct plays a big part too. I'm very proud of the goal and what it means to all these people. It's fantastic.

Now we are in the draw and of course we would like to avoid the Liga clubs because it would be nice to have as many Spanish clubs in the semi-finals as possible.

It would be great to play somebody like Bayern because they are a historic name and a big club. For the people here it would be massive, even bigger than this has been today. Then of course because Martín [Demichelis] and I played there in the past so to have the chance to play them in the Champions League quarter-final would be great.

Isco, Málaga midfielder
To overturn a 1-0 [first-leg] defeat was a great experience and it was tough. Our team was immense. Plus the fans were equally good. In the end we more than merited the victory. It's probably Málaga's greatest ever achievement, a moment which was probably overdue and I'm proud to have been involved with this terrific generation of footballers at this club. After the first 90 minutes in Portugal we knew we'd have a chance to win here. We are a strong team and we never stopped believing that we could go through. That's crucial.

My goal? Well you don't think about much except celebrating with your team-mates. It was a crucial moment, obviously, because it was a big boost to be back on even terms and that was the springboard to winning. So now we wait to see who we draw and we strive to maintain the humility which has been our hallmark thus far.

Jesús Gámez, Málaga defender
You can't ask more than what we did today. I'm from Malaga and I'm a lifelong Málaga supporter too. So what we've lived through today in the Rosaleda is something quite unique. Right now it's fresh in our minds, but this is a memory which will stay with us forever. It's a game which was nothing like the first leg. They started really fiercely and we didn't get time on the ball. Then as soon as we took time in possession and imposed our brand of football that was the key to overturning the one-goal deficit.

You know that once we got to this stage of the tournament it was all pretty relaxed for us. Everyone thought that Porto were better than us but we knew – and demonstrated – that it's only ever about who's better on the pitch over 180 minutes. One of the most fundamental things for us if we are to beat 'big' teams is self-belief. Really, I'd say we aren't scared of anyone in this quarter-final draw.

Last updated: 14/03/13 11.28CET

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