An impatient Joaquín says Málaga CF must give "maximum respect" to a Borussia Dortmund side who feel that progress beyond the quarter-finals will be a "bonus".
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Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp feels his side's quarter-final draw against Málaga CF ensures there will be at least one "surprise team" in the UEFA Champions League final four.
Málaga started their maiden campaign in Europe's premier club competition in sensational fashion, winning their first three Group C games without conceding a goal. They progressed as section winners – ahead of seven-times European champions AC Milan – and then proceeded to overturn a first-leg deficit to eliminate FC Porto in the round of 16.
Dortmund have been no less impressive despite being pitted with Real Madrid CF, Manchester City FC and AFC Ajax in their pool. Even a vibrant FC Shakhtar Donetsk side were little problem in the last 16. "Borussia Dortmund and Málaga are two teams that have surprised with their performances in the Champions League this season," said Klopp. "So one thing is certain, there will be a surprise team in the semi-finals. The way they eliminated Porto shows they have a lot of quality in their squad."
The clubs have never met before but Málaga forward Joaquín fully recognises the threat posed by the Bundesliga title holders, who look to have learned from last season's group stage exit. "Dortmund are a team used to playing these type of games," said the Spanish international. "However, we will have a chance of getting through if we compete as we have been doing until now. We must give Dortmund our maximum respect. They are a strong team who play good football – we will give 200% in order to qualify. We want the tie to come as quickly as possible."
Dortmund play the first leg in southern Spain on 3 April, an area they know well having travelled to Marbella for their winter training camps in recent years. "I am satisfied we are playing away first; that means we'll be playing at home in the return leg, in front of 60–65,000 fans, which could help us win this tie," said Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke. "We have already achieved what we expected, so everything that comes now is a bonus for us in our Champions League campaign. We will be very focused for the quarter-final."
Los Boquerones have never faced German opposition and their consultant adviser Francisco Martín did not hide his relief at avoiding fellow Spanish Liga sides FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF. "It will be history because it's our first encounter, and we prefer this over an all-Spanish encounter," he said. "The history we have made so far in the Champions League makes us happy, but right now we have to say we are still very ambitious."