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Ferreira out to stop Málaga making history

Manuel Pellegrini aims to do for Málaga CF what he previously did for Villarreal CF in the UEFA Champions League, but Jesualdo Ferreira and Panathinaikos FC have other ideas.

Jesualdo Ferreira returns to Malaga with his Panathinaikos side for the play-off first leg
Jesualdo Ferreira returns to Malaga with his Panathinaikos side for the play-off first leg ©Getty Images

Málaga CF take on Panathinaikos FC with the goal of bringing UEFA Champions League football to the Costa del Sol for the first time.

• Málaga earned their first stab at qualification by finishing fourth in Spain last season but face experienced rivals in Panathinaikos, who beat Motherwell FC 5-0 over two legs in the last round and are now eyeing a tenth appearance on the UEFA Champions League stage.

• Málaga may be new to this level but the Liga club will hold no surprises for visiting coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who held the reins at La Rosaleda before Manuel Pellegrini.

Match background
• Málaga can take heart from the experience of coach Pellegrini, who previously led Villarreal CF from the qualifying rounds to the semi-finals on their UEFA Champions League debut in 2005/06 – and later guided them past Panathinaikos in the 2008/09 round of 16, where a 2-1 victory in Athens secured a 3-2 aggregate success.

• Panathinaikos's record in 23 games against Spanish opposition is W3 D6 L14 (W3 D5 L3 - W0 D1 L11 in Spain). On their last visit to Spain they went down 5-1 to FC Barcelona in the 2010/11 group stage. However, that lone draw in Spain did come against Pellegrini's Villarreal.

• The Athens club lost a UEFA Champions League play-off to another Spanish side, Club Atlético de Madrid, in 2009, succumbing 3-2 at home and 2-0 in Spain.

• Málaga have faced Greek opposition only once before, beating AEK Athens FC 1-0 on aggregate in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup fourth round.

Team ties
• Panathinaikos coach Ferreira was hired as Málaga boss in June 2010 but lasted just five months before being replaced by Pellegrini.

• As FC Porto coach, Ferreira enjoyed an away-goals victory over Atlético in the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League, and home and away wins in the following season's group stage.

• Málaga's Enzo Maresca enjoyed two derby victories over Panathinaikos with Olympiacos FC in 2010/11.

• Málaga's Julio Baptista was in the Sevilla FC side that overturned a 1-0 loss at Panathinaikos – current Panathinaikos player Loukas Vyntra scoring – with a 2-0 home win after extra time in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32. At the same stage in 2009/10, however, his AS Roma team lost 6-4 on aggregate to Panathinaikos, with Lazaros Christodoulopoulos among the scorers.

• Panathinaikos's Stefanos Kapino, Spyros Fourlanos, Nikos Marinakis and Charis Mavrias took on Málaga's Juanmi when Greece lost to Spain in the group stage of July's UEFA European Under-19 Championship. All bar the suspended Kapino were involved again in the final, which Spain won 1-0.

• Málaga's Martín Demichelis scored for Argentina in a 2-0 victory over a Greece team including Panathinaikos's Kostas Katsouranis, Nikos Spyropoulos and Loukas Vyntra at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

• Panathinaikos's Katsouranis and Giourkas Seitaridis were in the Greece side that drew 1-1 with Joaquín's Spain at UEFA EURO 2004.

• Seitaridis and Málaga's Ignacio Camacho were team-mates at Club Atlético de Madrid. Seitaridis was at Atlético from 2006-09 and faced Málaga once – a 4-0 home win in August 2008.

• Panathinaikos's Jean-Alain Boumsong and Málaga's Jérémy Toulalan played together at Olympique Lyonnais and were also France team-mates.

• Canary Islander Vitolo had spells with CD Tenerife, Real Racing Club and RC Celta de Vigo before moving to Greece in 2008.

• Toché played for Atlético, CD Numancia, Hércules CF, Real Valldolid CF, Albacete Balompié and FC Cartagena before joining Panathinaikos.