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Medieval video fires up Malaga for Porto clash

sports Updated: Mar 13, 2013 00:52 IST

Reuters
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Malaga have used medieval imagery in a promotional video for their Champions League last-16 second leg at home to Porto, seeking inspiration for an historic performance from the Spanish debutantes on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Willy Caballero carries a shield, defender Jesus Gamez the club colours, and forward Julio Baptista hammers out a Malaga crest in a fiery forge, while the strapline challenges fans: "We are ready. Are you?"

The club from the Costa del Sol must overturn a 1-0 scoreline from the first leg in Portugal last month if they are to oust the two-times European champions, and continue their continental adventure into the quarterfinals.

"We are at home, in front of our own fans and we have to make the most of it," Malaga's Porto-born midfielder Duda said on Monday.

"The players, the staff and everyone else knows this is the most important game in Malaga's history."

It was only five years ago that Malaga were playing in the second division, but promotion in 2008, a takeover by Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, and a top-four finish last season have catapulted the club into the big time. However, it has not been a smooth ride.

Doubts over the commitment of the new owners have persisted with the sale of top players, while delayed payments to staff and other clubs has earned them a UEFA ban from future European competition for at least a season.

Malaga are contesting the ruling and still lie fourth in La Liga after a 1-1 draw at Valladolid on Saturday.

Experienced Argentina defender Martin Demichelis views further Champions League success as vital for the club's future.

"There is a little uncertainty," he said last week. "A top-four finish and progress in the Champions League should help motivate the owners.”