Mixed emotions for Málaga ahead of Porto tie
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Málaga CF director Francisco Aguilar reacted with both joy and regret to being drawn against FC Porto, saying his club will "go for it" when they face a team they did not want to face.
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Málaga CF were left cursing their luck after the tournament debutants were drawn against FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, director Francisco Aguilar saying the Portuguese side are "not the team we had in mind" prior to the ceremony in Nyon.
Aguilar described the Dragons as the "best side" in the competition, high praise which was reciprocated as his counterpart at the Estádio do Dragão cited the Spanish club's exploits in topping Group C as an indicator of their strength. Porto will be at home on 19 February and travel to Spain on 13 March.
Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, Porto chairman
We will have trouble against a team with the best defence in the Spanish Liga, conceding fewer goals than Real Madrid and Barcelona, a team with a lot of consistency. We must not forget that Málaga qualified for the knockout stage unbeaten, winning a group that included Milan and Zenit.
Fernando Gomes, Porto director
Málaga topped a group where Milan were the big favourites. They lie fourth in the Spanish Liga with the best defence, and they have made a significant investment in order to have a say in Spanish football and at international level. They also have two Portuguese players [Duda and Eliseu]. They have great players. We hoped to reach this stage and we did it. Now we have to prepare for this tie with a great sense of responsibility, competence and confidence, knowing that we will face a very difficult opponent.
Javier Saviola, Málaga forward
Porto will be tough opponents. I faced them during my time with Benfica and it's difficult – it's hard to win at their stadium. They are a physically strong team who play with a lot of intensity and tempo. They will make things very difficult for us. [Playing the second leg at home] is always important, especially when you can get a good result in the away leg.
Francisco Aguilar, Málaga director
We're facing the best side in the UEFA Champions League. Porto have great players but we will be up for this tie. This was not the team we had in mind prior to the draw and wasn't the one we wanted to face. Having said that, we must go into the tie with the same hope and eagerness we have shown up until now. With a little bit of luck I hope we will be in the draw for the next round. It will be difficult to eliminate Porto but we're going for it.
Porto and Málaga have never met in UEFA competition.