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FM12: Málaga Club de Fútbol - Barça & Real? Who?


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Hello & welcome to my first ever club thread! [Hope you like it] Málaga CF look a very interesting prospect in Liga BBVA at the moment. They've recently signed seasoned 'big names' such as Santiago Cazorla & Ruud van Nistelrooy; all in an attempt to dislodge the powerhouses of Spanish football that are Barça & Real Madrid. I hope I can entice you into making a save with the Andalusians.


The History of Málaga CF;

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Atlético Malagueño to Málaga;

Club Atlético Malagueño, founded in 1948, took the name of Málaga Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. on 29th June 1994, with Federico Beltrán as its first President. 'El Malagueño', as he was popularly known, had the responsibility from its inception to put together a group of footballers to form the first team of the city: Club Deportivo Málaga. In 1992, when CD Málaga dissolved after financial difficulties, CA Malagueño continued playing. The 1992-93 season saw them playing in Tercera Division Group 9. After a successful campaign, the club was promoted to Segunda División B. However, the following season the club was relegated again and, facing financial difficulties, were in danger of folding. On December 19, 1993, in a referendum, the club’s members voted in favour of changing names and, on June 29, 1994 CA Malagueño changed their name to Málaga Club de Fútbol S.A.D., becoming an official successor to what was previously called Club Deportivo Málaga. With the emotional ties to the extinct Club Deportivo Málaga kept in tact, and the dream of returning the City of Málaga to the elite of Spanish football, Málaga Club de Fútbol played its first official game in the club's history in Adra on 4th September 1994. After an historic season in which the undefeated club ended as Champions, the team trained by Antonio Benítez was promoted to Second Division B on 28th June 1995 after beating Jerez de los Caballeros in the play-offs at La Rosaleda. The dream was still well & truly set in the heart and minds of everyone involved with the club; Top division football.

Málaga CF – their rise to prominence was ‘nothing short of meteoric’;

The 1997/’98 season began with a change, a change of presidency infact. Fernando Puche, an ambitious, driven man, took lead behind the scenes and, with replacing Federico Beltrán, breathed new life & freshness back into Málaga, a team that Andalusians had grown to love & dream about playing the ‘big boys’ week in, week out and stake a claim for themselves. That season, Ismael Díaz inherited a strong squad and began to build for his assault of Spain’s lower leagues in attempt to regain the ‘big team’ status. The blue and white team managed to come first in group IV of the bronze division and won its first game in the play-offs, but two defeats sealed its fate and they had another wait before they managed to get promoted. After an epic victory over Tarrassa with a vital three-goal difference and a draw with Talavera in Beasaín, Málaga Club de Fútbol was promoted to the Second Division on 28th June 1998.

Málaga's passage into the Silver Division was nothing short of meteoric from here on in. In its first campaign in the Second Division, the outfit trained by Joaquín Peíro sealed its promotion three games before the end of the season, after beating Albacete in La Rosaleda on 30th May 1999. The blue and whites also collected its first championship title when it finished top of Spain's Second Division League. It was a dream that became a reality for Málaga Club de Fútbol, the Capital of the Costa del Sol returned to the First Division; Barçelona, Real Madrid & Valencia awaited the minnows from Southern Spain.

Málaga CF – No longer a dream but reality: European football had arrived at La Rosaleda;

Without faltering in its debut in the First Division, Málaga Club de Fútbol continued to make glowing progress. Without too much difficulty in their first year, the team managed to confirm its place in 'The League of the Stars' (1999/00) four weeks before the end of the championship. After taking part in another memorable season (2000/01) Málaga C.F. improved its position and established itself in the elite, maximum shareholder Serafín Roldán took over the presidency after Fernando Puche resigned at the end of the campaign.

After establishing themselves as a top division outfit, European Football beckoned. It all began in the now extinct UEFA Intertoto cup before, after qualification, The UEFA Cup [now known as the Europa League] came knocking at the door of La Rosaleda; the dream has become reality. Europe has opened their eyes to Málaga and, in time, Málaga opened their eyes to Europe. The team from Southern Spain had done it!

In the summer of 2002, Málaga Club de Fútbol participated in the now extinct UEFA Intertoto Cup that granted the winners of the competition a direct place to compete for the UEFA Cup. After eliminating Gent, Willem II and Villarreal CF in home and away games, the team coached by Joaquín Peíro managed to win its first international title for the Martiricos Club on 27th August, 2002.

With the passport to compete for the first time in a European competition, Málaga Club de Fútbol made its debut in the UEFA Cup on 10th September in an away game against Bosnian club Zelejnicar. The blue and whites created a dream and would only take fond memories from their fling in Europe. In the elimination rounds, that would later be remembered for it’s dramatic nature, the likes of Amica Wronki of Poland, England’s Leeds United and AEK Athens of Greece, until Málaga, in that fateful penalty shootout of the Quarter-Finals against Boavista, were eliminated from the European stage. The dream was over.

The dream reignited by Sheik Abdullah Al-Thani; the masterplan to dislodge Barça & Real?

Málaga went from scaling the heights in the Quarter-Final of the UEFA cup and establishing themselves in amongs the Elite of Spanisg football unitl, that fatal moment on the 30th of April, 2006 when a dejected Málaga side faced Racing Santander in a vital clash. The prolonged sense of achievement was over - dropping from the ‘promised land’ in Liga BBVA & eventually becoming the same old, same old Málaga to many a fan; a club that had been dropped from some significant height right back into the deep end of being another ‘mediocre outifit’ in the Spanish secong tier. But… on June 15th, 2008, when Málaga C.F. beat C.D. Tenerife at La Rosaleda in the last game of the season. However its return was not guaranteed until three days later after having managed to safeguard the Club's future economic situation via the agreement of creditors. The people of Málaga returned to the streets to celebrate a new achievement: Málaga Club de Fútbol would display it colours in the stadia of the First Division.

The club only went from strength to strength, they were back in the big time. Although, on a more serious note, after seasons of uncertainty over the financial situation of Málaga, the introduction of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family, nurtured the embers of that dream. He transformed solitary embers into a full-blown blaze! The sudden influx of wealth guaranteed Málaga’s survival and meant that Málaga, a club that thought they hit the jackpot a decade ago, are now going full steam ahead and plotting a masterplan to leap frog Barça & Real Madrid to become one of the best football clubs in the history of Spanish football. This plan is now being spearheaded by a whole wealth of new signings, Manuel Pellegrini & the financial muscle of that Qatari bloke, Sheikh Abdullah. Can you follow through on this proposition? Can you force an assault on Barça & Real?

The 2010-2011 season; a brief catch-up;

Málaga C.F's tenth campaign in the First Division was marked by the start of the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani presidency that brought with it hefty economic backing to enable Málaga's first team to be in the top ten of the championship. The veteran coach, Jesualdo Ferreira, took on responsibility for the sporting aspect of the squad, incorporating some of the best foreign players who still didn't have experience in the national elite. The Blues and Whites fans' excitement was tangible. Málaga started off superbly away from home, beating Getafe 5-3, Zaragoza 5-0 and Juanmi, one of Málaga's brightest prospects, scored to claim the record for Liga BBVA's yiungest ever goalscorer.

But, what goes up must come down and Málaga epitomised that famous saying. At La Rosaleda, everything was going pear-shaped, undoing all good that was done away from home. Ferreira and his coaching staff were destitute and a new era began in the season with the arrival of the Chilean manager, Manuel Pellegrini; a new Era had arrived. As the experienced ex-Villarreal & Madrid manager began to bed in, performances and results began to improve. But, three crucial signings were made in January which, no-one could've predicted; in came Martin Demichellis, Willy Caballero & Julio Baptista. All three made a massive impact, especially the latter of the trio. So much so, Málaga managed to survive the drop with a fortnight left in the season. Málaga could now finally build upon their solid financial foundations and begin to plot Barça and Real's demise. Are you the man to break into the top two of Spanish Football?


Málaga's Facilities;

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Name: La Rosaleda

Capacity: 28,936 Málagueños

Surface: Grass

Year Built: 1941

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Málaga CF - FM12; what's the situation?

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Málaga CF - Kits;

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Málaga CF - The trophy cabinet;

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With Málaga only established in the late 1940's, they havn't seen their deserved success. For this clb to be noticed, you must be able to win trophies and repay the faith that Abdullah Al-Thani has placed on your shoulders. Maybe a UEFA Champions League title or two, the possibilities are endless!

Málaga CF - What's expected of you?

Here's what the board offered me at the start of the season;

MINIMUM EXPECTATION;

Top-Half finish - £17.5 million & £825k per week

Continental Qualification [Europa League] - £20 million & £850k per week

Continental Qualification [Champions League] - £21.5 million & £875k per week

Title Challenge - £23.5 million & £900k per week

League Winner - £25 million & £925k per week

Here is what I chose; I edged on the side of caution as Liga BBVA can be quite a unpreficatble league beneath Barça and Real Madrid.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this fee crop up for this expectation. Considering the vast amount spent in the Summer, they racked up the highest net expenditure in La Liga, I would've guessed that a lower figure would've beckoned but, no. This is another indication of the obvious ambition that the players, hierarchy & fans share between each other at Málaga CF.


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Málaga CF - The first-team;

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The recent line-up against Real Zaragoza

Málaga CF squad list;

'Keepers;

1. Rubén - Spain

13. Willy Caballero - Argentina

Defence;

2. Jesús Gámez - Spain**

3. Weligton - Brazil

4. Kris Stadsgaard - Denmark

5. Martin Demichellis - Argentina**

14. Joris Mathijsen - Netherlands

15. Natxo Monreal - Spain

18. Eliseu - Portugal

21. Sergio Sánchez - Spain

Midfield;

6. Ignacio Camacho - Spain**

7. Joaquín - Spain

8. Jérémy Toulalan - France**

10. Apoño - Spain

12. Santi Cazorla - Spain**

16. Enzo Maresca - Italy

17. Duda - Portugal

20. Diego Buonanotte - Argentina**

22. Isco - Spain**

28. Recio - Spain**

-- Xavi Torres - Spain [Currently on loan at Levante]

Forwards;

9. Ruud van Nistelrooy - Netherlands

11. Sebastián Fernández - Uruguay

19. Júlio Baptista - Brazil**

23. Solomón Rondón - Venezuela**

26. Juanmi - Spain**

[Gold aster-ix's demotes a Prized Possession; two Red aster-ixs' demotes a player to keep an eye on]

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Málaga CF - Squad Analysis;

Important figures within the squad;

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[Gold ** demotes Key Player in that position; Red ** demotes Promising Player]

'Keepers;

Willy Caballero - Caballero signed for Málaga midway through last season & instantly staked his claim for a regular starting spot. After Sergio Asenjo, who was on loan from Atletíco Madrid, picked up a serious knee injury, Caballero was signed by Pellegrini from Elche in an attempt to reassure the 'keeper spot. According to most fans, there wasn't anyone better to come in to be Málaga's regular goalkeeper. He instantly became a fans' favourite and a cult hero of sorts after his string of fantastic performances in the league, which eventually resulted in Málaga's survial, and he then became a Málagan hero. He will be this seasons starting goalkeeper.

Rubén - Former Barça and Spanish youth international; he was capped at U19, U20, U21 & U23 level for the Spanish national youth sides. Signed from Cartagena in the summer of 2010, he has lost his way over past seasons. Although, a lack of regular first-team football hasn't helped yet, he's would be a accomplished back-up to any top flight Spanish side.

Overview of Málaga CF's Goalkeepers;

5.5 out of 10

Many will argue that Caballero, the man who saved Málaga from relegation, isn't good enough but, in my opinion, he's definitely good enough for atleast two seasons. His tremendous shot-stopping and a knack of being in places at the right time is something that doesn't come about too often, especially the latter of those two traits. I'd definitely keep him as a starter; if not, as a back-up 'keeper. As for Rubén, I'd look to keep him for one to two seasons or so and then let him go. His contract does run expire in two years so letting it run down wouldn't be such a bad idea. I wouldn't rush to say that it's a 'problem position' at this moment of time.

Central Defenders;

Martin Demichelis** - The argentine tactician signed permanently fro Bayern München in the summer. Málaga fans ahve a lot to thank him for his effortd while he was on loan at La Rosaleda for the second half of last season; almso single handedly kept Málaga afloat with the supporting cast in Caballero and 'The Beast'. Demichelis arrived in European football from boyhood side River Plate a decade ago. Since then, Demichelis has made a big name for himself. Known worldwide by football fans for his tremendous ability to read the game and a know-how of how to contain the most threatening of opposition, he has a lot to offer Málaga & Spanish Football. Demichelis' experience and 'been there, done that' attitude can only direct Málaga the way that they should be going; and that is up!

Joris Mathijsen - Could very well be one of the acquisitions of the summer; especially for £1.3 million, which was the reported fee. Currently, Mathijsen occupies the starting centre-back berth in the Netherlands' national side and will only bring more experience and defensive qualities to the side. Definitely a coop for Málaga.

Weligton - One of only a handful of players remaining from the squad that celebrated the accomplishments of regaining Málaga's top-flight status. Signed from the Portugese outfit Penafiel a few years back, he's reassured his place in the squad with some outstanding personal performances; has been a first-team regular for Málaga since his arrival but, with the sudden influx of wealth and the arrival of Demichelis & Mathijsen, he's expected to play a more limited role this season.

Kriss Stadsgaard - The young Danish centre-back, who won 2 Norwegian titles with Rosenborg, joined Málaga two season ago; he immediately became a first-team regular, alongside Weligton. The son of former professional referee, Knud Stadsgaard, can definitely do a good job for you as a back-up for a while to come. With age on his side, don't rule out a surprise spurt of development which could propel him ahead of either Mathijsen or Demichelis in a few years time.

Hélder Rosário - Consistency is key to any world-class performer. Sadly, despite Rosário's impressive technical ability, his consistency doesn't do him any favours. I'd look to offload him as soon as possible and replace him with a more reliable, better centre-half.

Overview of Málaga CF's Central Defenders;

6.5 out of 10

With Mertin Demichelis & Joris Mathijsen, you are in good hands for 2-3 years but, with both creeping onto the wrong side of 30, replacements may be needed sooner rather than later. Demichelis' tactical and assured approach to defending is a vital component of forging a good career in La Liga, while Mathijsen more 'destructive' and no-nonsense approach compliments Demichelis' methods very well. If you do look back at the great partnerships of years gone by in world football, Tony Adams with Martin Keown, Carles Puyol with Gerard Piqué and Nemanja Vidic with Rio Ferdinand, there's that blend of no-nonsense and composure; the best of both worlds. Weligton & Stadsgaard are capable of being back-up or rotation players for some years to come too. As for Rosário, I'd look to offload him as soon as possible and replace him. You wouldn't really want to match Leo Messi, the worlds greatest ever player, with Rosário would you?

Full-Backs;

Jesús Gámez** - Málaga through and through. Been at the club since an early age and is an example of what type of player the Málaga youth setup, that has now more emphasis on it than ever, can produce. Can defend very well, one of the better right-backs in La Liga at defending while going forward he isn't too shoddy either. Has been a first-team regular since the 2006-2007 season and, I predict, will be for many a season to come. Top Quality.

Natxo Monreal** - Signed in the summer from fellow Liga BBVA outfit Osasuna. An accomplished left-back who's been capped 4 times by Vicente del Bosque and his Spanish World Cup winning side. In possession, he's neat and tidy; can get forward well with a good final product while, defensively he's more than 'neat and tidy', he's very good in fact. Will be the starting left-back for the near future.

Sergio Sánchez - Strong and versatile defender who can ply his trade in the centre-half position well too. Decent going forward but, the emphasis of his game is on his defensive qualities. Strong in the air too; good against European sides who's footballing culture is much different to Spain and La Liga's.

Eliseu - The Portugal international is actually a converted left-winger. Very much like Marcelo of Real Madrid. Good going forward but, suspect in the defensive side of his game. Possess' great pace too. I would look to use him as a back-up in both the left-back & left wing slots; definitely not a starter. Although, a more accomplished, reliable back-up left-back would be better.

Overview of Málaga CF's Full-Backs;

6 out of 10

You have two very good, capable full-backs in Natxo Monreal and Jesús Gámez. Both can defend well and get forward too; those two should be your starting full-backs at the moment. Although, the left-back spot is in need of some TLC. Eliseu, in my opinion, is not a good enough replacement for Monreal if he picks up a injury or suspension. I could only imagine what Messi or Di María would do to him given the opportunity so, someone like a Roberto Canella of Sporting Gijón would be needed.

Central Midfielders; [Attacking & Defensive]

Jérémy Toulalan** - After establishing himself in Ligue 1 as a top-class defensive midfielder with Olympique Lyonnais, he's made the switch across to Liga BBVA. Toulalan's game is all about retaining the ball, keeping it and laying it off to a nearby, more creative player. He retains the ball superbly well. I'd use him as a DMC or a defensive minded CM. Could prove to be an important player in the progression of Málaga CF.

Ignacio Camacho - Two years back, this young man was tipped to become the 'next big thing'. When he first broke into Atletíco's first-team plans, the Spanish media were raving about him. Sadly, he's lost his way since then. He has had a few injuries which havn't helped in his development too. Málaga took full advantage of his 'demise', if you could call it that, and signed him for a measly £1.3 million in January of last season. Will probably play a more limited role this season, especially with the signing of Jérémy Toulalan.

Recio - Another product of the ever improving Málaga youth academy. A defensive minded midfielder who's in the Toulalan mould sort of. Composed on the ball and has a good eye for a pass. He does have the ability to become a first-teamer in the future in my opinion; with a good run of tutorship and training, he could become a nice looking player. Future's bright.

Enzo Maresca - Technically impressive; can do various roles well. Can dictate the game, play a deeper role as someone who intends to break up opposition attack or can do a more of a box-to-box role too. Tactically astute too. Aswell as good on the pitch, off the pitch he is a heavyweight. Liked by most in the dressing room and respected by team-mates. Signed from Olympiakos in January.

Apoño** - Born and bred in Málaga. He did begin his career with Málaga CF but, didn't make the cut and left for San Pedro. A season later, Marbella came in for Apoño & picked him up on a free transfer. He then enjoyed a impressive three-season stay at Marbella before Málaha realised what they were missing out on and brought him back in on a free once again; Apoño then masterminded and lead Málaga's push for promotion in 2008.

Diego Buonanotte** - Was signed from River Plate back in January of last year but, only arrived in the summer. Tricky, clever player who can play anywhere around/behind the striker. Is a very versatile player going forward and I'd look to exploit that. I don't see him as a starter though; not just yet.

Isco** - Many may think that £6 million is a lot for a player who is yet to be proven on the biggest stage in Spanish football but, this kid has undoubted potential. Only made 4 appearances for Valencia last term. Spanish U20 international too; likes to play in behind the striker and intends to cause havoc with his clever dribbling and intricate passing movements. One of the only modern day attacking midfielders at the club.

Xavi Torres [On loan at Levante] - Tidy looking player; looks neat in possession of the ball and good defensively. Could have a future at the club once he returns from Levante.

Overview of Málaga CF's Central Midfielders;

6.5 out of 10

Málaga have a good looking central midfield in all honesty. Toulalan will be the major player in that set-up, with the likes of Apoño, Maresca and Isco being cast a support role. Toulalan shoudl be the holding the midfield, claiming possession of the ball from deep, turning out and looking to link up the defence to the midfield or wide men. Aswell as doing that, he should pick up any loose balls in and around the area while remaining disciplined when choosing his time to burst forward. You should look to dominate the midfield in La Liga, as many of the opposition attacks are commenced through and from the middle so, you must pack the mdifield with good, ball playing midfielders. Apoño and Toulalan are the prime candidates for a regular starting position. I'd also look to exploit Bounanotte's versatility going forward; Isco should be nurtured into first-team action.

Wide Midfielders/Wingers;

Joaquín - An old-fashioned winger who has been described as the 'Spanish Stanley Matthews' throughout his career. Possess' fantastic dribbling skills aswell as a incredible ability to beat a man while hugging the touchline looking to create space inside him through the channels for a full-back or supporting midfielder to burst into. Signed for a measly £3.5 million from Valencia in the summer of 2011; began to regain the form that saw £21 million exchanged hands for Valencia to acquire his services from Real Betis.

Duda - Stark contrast to the style of play that Joaquín delights his followers with. Duda rarely beats a man with pace or with a direct dribbling method, Duda tends to sit out wide, almost in fixed position, and wait to receive the ball where he could then shift it onto his favoured left foot and whip in a fabulous cross; almost Beckham-esque in the way he goes about his football. He first signed for Málaga in the '99-'00 season where he joined from Guimares in Portugal. He enjoyed a 8-year stay with Málaga until he left for Sevilla. He had a couple of years at Sevilla but, returned back to Málaga and has been here ever since.

Santi Cazorla** - The heart and sole of this Málaga side. Can dictate the play from anywhere. The club's record signing at £19.5 million; easily worth it in my opinion. Before he joined Málaga, he was one of Villarreal's most influencial players - everything good went through him - so much so, he became a fans' favourite almost instantly. Wonderful passer of the ball and has a good ability to see things most people don't. I would definitely make him your 'Playmaker'. Your goal should be to satisfy him throughout your stay at Málaga. Santi Cazorla, and Cazorla alone, should be enough to persuade you to make a Málaga save anyway!

Overview of Málaga CF's Wide midfielders/Wingers;

7 out of 10

Joaquín and Cazorla are the obvious option but, don't rule out Duda. It all depends on the formation you play; that will determine what wide players to play. If you decide to play a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2, Duda would be first-choice on the left-hand side with Cazorla in the opposite flank but, if you decide to play a 4-2-3-1 personally, I'd play Cazorla as a Inside Forward on the left-hand side while Joaquín should start on the right-hand side. Your formation determines everything. The reason I would play Duda in a 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 formation as Duda is more of a wide midfielder than a winger. He's able to track back well, unlike Joaquín, and doesn't like to beat his man on a regular basis, unlike Joaquín. Cazrola should be a starter in whatever formation you play.

Strikers;

Júlio Baptista** - 'The Beast' as he is known. Málaga fans have easily accustomed to Baptista's playing style very qucikly. The catalyst to that stron relationship was the goals' that he scored that helped Málaga to survive as a Liga BBVA club and his ability to attract player like Cazorla, Van Nistelrooy and Monreal to the club. Málaga signed him from AS Roma for £2.8 million, which to many is a bargain and money well spent. Played mainly off the main striker, Solomón Rondón last season - dropping deep to pick up the ball, linking the midfield to the forward line and occasionally smashing the ball into the top corner from 25+ yards. Fantatsic Player; the Beast lives on!

Ruud van Nistelrooy - The Manchester United and Duthc legend is still in great shape, even though he is now 35 years of age. One thing is for sure, he still knows where the goal is! He has been the top scorer in English, Duthc and Spanish leagues, aswell as the Champions League so, a player like this is what is needed to allow this club to build and grow into a fabulous European Superpower. Well Done RVN!

Sebastián Fernández - A clever finisher of the ball who will definitely have a part to plat this season; although, the majority of it from the bench and in Spanish cup games. Signed for £3.5 million from Banfield of Argentina. Was part of the Uruguay squad that reached the semi-final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Solomón Rondón** - The one and only survivor from Málaga's first crop of new signings; signed from Las Palmas for a considerable fee after an impressive season in Liga Adalente. Looks likely to play a key role in this season and beyond. Possess' great physical attributes and can easily fulfil the role of an Advanced Forward, Poacher or even a Target Man. Since his rise to the limelight last season, I've always been a fan of Rondón and what he brings to a club like Málaga in Liga BBVA. His physical stature will cause problems to even the best defence's within the league.

Juanmi** - Arguably the best youth player to come from Málaga's youth set-up since Jesús Gámez. Made his debut in December 2010 to become the youngest ever player to play for Málaga in any competition. Already capped at Spanish U16, U17 and U19 level. I have high hopes for this young man - as should many of you - he has a massive future ahead of him as long as he steers well clear from injuries.

Overview of Málaga CF's Strikers;

7.5 out of 10

The good thing about Málaga's strike force is that they have been proven to score goals at the highest levels. Rondón finished as Málaga's top scorer last season, Júlio Baptista scored 47 goals in two seasons while at Sevilla, Ruud van Nistelrooy has been top scorer in English, Ducth, Spanish and the Champions League in his career. There's goals everyhwere you look! Many will be in a predicament about which striker to play, Solomón Rondón, Sebastián Fernández pr Ruud van Nistelrroy; what a problem to have though.

General Squad overview;

If you do make a Málaga save, you will inherit a capable, versatile squad that are willing to pass the ball about in a pretty and effective manner. In Santi Cazorla, you have one of the best Wide Playamakers in Word Football, in Toulalan you have one of the best holding midfielders in Europe, in Martin Demichelis, you have a master of the back four; despite his worrying concentration, he's still capable of churning out top-quality performances on a regular basis, and in van Nisterlrooy you have a legend. Obviously, the squad will have a lot of improving and changing if you do want to overhaul the likes of Barça and Madrid in the title race but, that's all part of the Málaga challenge. If you want to know how to set-up your Málaga side, I would read on below.

VAMOS MÁLAGA!

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Málaga CF - Who to buy? [Realistic Transfers]

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"The players we have signed have been for rational prices. There has been no madness"

Fernando Hierro; General Manager

We've all been there. In that sticky situation where you ask yourself... 'Who should I buy that will enhance my squad?', 'I need a First-Team player that will win us La Liga!' or 'I want a Wonderkid who, in 5 years time, will be one of the worlds best.' Well, this 'guide', If I could call it that, may direct you towards players, in my opinion, would fit well within the Málaga set-up. Vamos!

Goalkeepers - Caballero; is he the man?

Diego López - Villarreal & Spain - If you are willing to keep your transfer dealings as much as possible, a move for Diego López would be a fantastic option. A great shot-stopper in any given situation, whether it is making a quick double-save or a flying leap to a corner of the goal, he's a great 'keeper. Villarreal would look to demand a high transfer fee, due to his importance to the Villarreal side but, without a doubt, he would bring another level of player to the team.

Carlos Kameni - Espanyol & Cameroon - Two years ago, If you tend believe reports, a big money move was on the cards to the red half North London but, as do may reports, nothing came of it. Kameni remained at Espanyol for another prolonged spell and has only increased his reputation in La Liga and World Football. The Cameroon international, who has won 32 caps for his country, is now an established La Liga goalkeeper and would be a great signing for a team such as Málaga.

Thibaut Courtois - Chelsea [On loan at Atletíco Madrid] & Belgium - No-one had ever heard of the 6 foot, 6 inch Belgian 'keeper but, after Chelsea signed him for Genk, his reputation has rocketed up. Starts the game on loan at Atletíco so, he may not be a good option if you're looking for a immediate replacement but, with the backlog of goalkeepers at Stamford Bridge, I'd definitely look to exploit it; a loan deal would probably be a more realistic option.

Overall Position Strength: OKAY; it depends whether you trust Caballero

Centre Defence - Is the 'Demichelis and Mathijsen' partnership about to flourish?

Raúl Albiol - Real Madrid & Spain - Has almost been forgotten since joing Real Madrid from Valencia three seasons ago, and since the arrival of Jose Mourinho and Ricardo Carvalho, he hasn't really had a solid run in the first team. He's become a squad player, a very good squad player. I'd look to exploit the situation he is in as soon as possible. A fantastic player while defending, reads the game well yet, he doesn't sacrifice nothing really in return. Good in the air, which isn't essential in Liga BBVA, due to the ball mainly being played on the floor, but, in Europe he could become a star buy. I'd class him as a marquee signing so, I'd definitely look to set a budget aside just for him.

Álvaro Dominguez - Atletico Madrid & Spain - Reliabley good. Left-footed centre-half who has a good knack of defusing dangerous situations with his ability to read the game well and move the ball about. Comfertable in possession and without the ball he is terrific. Been a it of a lone ranger over the past 2 years in the middle of the Atetico defence but, a partnership with Martin Demichelis would only improve him. Would be a very good, cheap-ish option for your Málaga outfit. One I'd recommend highly. On my rather brief demo save, I managed to pick Dominguez up from Atletico Madrid for £8 million; you could too.

Ignasi Miquel - Arsenal & Spain - I'm a big fan of the Arsenal reserves' captain. Always have rated him; looks to be a good talent. Would not be an immediate starter but, in 2, 3 or 4 years he may well be. His contract is up at the end of this season so, a cut-price fee may be on the cards.

Overall Position Strength: GOOD; room for improvement though

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Fullbacks - Are Gámez and Monreal good enough?

Erik Pieters [Left-Back] - PSV & Holland - Another player who's in the same mould as Monreal. Hard working, young and determined. What more could you ask for? Would suit the Liga BBVA to a tee, in my opinion. Can get forward well without comprimising his defensive duties. Would be a good source of competition for Monreal.

Maicon [Right-Back] - Internazionale & Brazil - Beginning to reach the less 'dazzling' period of his career. So much so, almost falling out-of-favour at the San Siro. Nevertheless, he would be a fantastic acquisition for little olf Andalucian 'nobodies' Málaga. I believe Inter would command a high asking price and with the vultures lurking, Manchester City and co., it may be hard to tempt him to La Rosalda. Why would you want to replace Mr.Málaga Jesús Gámez anyway?

Enric Saborit [Left-Back] - Athletic & Spain - This young man from Basque would pose a challenge development wise. By all means, he's not a starter yet but, with a year or so of solid development, he could definitely turn into healthy, unrivalled competition for Señor Monreal. Good talent.

Overall Position Strength: DECENT; in need for better back-up

Central Midfield - Is there enough there to cover both aspects - Defence and Attack?

Ever Banega - Valencia & Argentina - Since his introduction into Liga BBVA he's been one of the best creative forces from deep, almost in the same brand as the Iniesta & Xavi. Has a terrific ability to spray the ball anywhere across the front line. His main properties of his game is his passing, creativity and ball-playing skills. I'm sure, seeing that he is central to Valencia's plans, they will demand a high transfer fee but, if you do have any ambition, you'd go for it! Would be a terrific signing for Málaga; who ever would've thought two years ago that Málaga would be challenging Barça and Real Madrid in the transfer market?

Javi Martinez - Athletic Bilbao & Spain - One of the brightest young Spaniards to rise to prominence in recent years. He's now part of the footballing generation which includes Juan Mata, Sergio Busquets and Pedro. Was part of the 2010 World Cup winning squad that travelled and succeeded in South Africa. I'd definitely look into signing him; good on the ball, good off the ball.

Zakaria Labyad - PSV and Morocco - This young man is one of the brightest talents in European Football at the moment. Can play in behind the striker or in a deeper role where he can dictate the play; would be a good signing. I'd tend not to rush him, maybe a loan spell at a fellow La Liga or Liga Adelente club to gain some valuable experience which will only enhance is future career in Southern Spain.

Overall Position Strength: ADEQUATE; needs more firepower going forward

Wide Areas - Does Duda do it for you?

Eden Hazard [Either wing] - LOSC Lille & Belgium - This lad doesn't need an introduction, does he? Since breaking into LOSC Lille's first-team arrangements he's gone from strength to strength. His direct dribbling skills have meant comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo have creeped in from the media and pundits. Can run rings around defenders. 'The Belgian Boy Wonder' as he is known in the French Media, he would be a fantastic attacking outlet at a club in the Liga BBVA. On FM12, I'm sure it will be much harder to purchase him than it was on FM11 so, the earlier you get him, the better. Teams like Arsenal, Madrid and Chelsea will also come in for him.

Willian [Either wing] - Shakthar Donetsk & Brazil - Willian; one of the Brazilian clan that has gone to conquer Ukrainian football by storm. Very similar to Eden Hazard in many ways - Runs rings around defenders, quick feet with a tendency to pop out a step-over or two. Can pass the ball and can score the odd screamer from time-to-time. Would suit La Liga and Spanish football to a tee; Forget 'The Great' Ronaldinho... you could have your very own Brazilian Legend on your hands.

Gerard Deulofeu - Barça & Spain - How do you stop Barça from improving and having to buy a new trophy cabinet? Steal their players of course. Deulofeu is one of the hottest prospect that has emerged from Barcelona's la Masia academy in recent seasons and definitely has a massive future ahead of him.

Overall Position Strength: OKAY; Three good players in Cazorla, Joaquin and Duda but, not much else

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Strikers - I WANT 40 GOALS A SEASON!

Carlos Tevez - Manchester City and Argentina - Some may scoff and 'LOL' at this but, Tevez is the player Málaga have been looking to lead their squad forward! Determined, aggressive and assertive; Although, his 'goings on' in reality has tarnished his reputation with me and many football fans' alike around the world. He is transfer listed at the start of the game so, you could easily afford his transfer fee but, wages are an issue. Although, many of you will now hate Tevez

Javier Hernández - Manchester United and Mexico - I have to admit, he was great last season. To arrive from Chivas for £6 million and make an impact like he did is not easy; he had to adapt to a whole new coutnry, footballing culture etc. So, why not bring him to Málaga? Where he can rip up La Liga. Someone like 'Chihcarito' would thrive on the through balls of a Cazorla for example.

Lucas Barrios - Dortmund and Paraguay - The Paraguayan assassin leads the line tremendously well; one of the best in the game. Can drop into holes to help in the construction of a goal but, more often or not, he's completing the construction of the goal by coolly slotting home a good finish. Would suit Málaga, who are a driven & ambitious club, to a tee.

Overall Position Strength: GOOD; especially with the know-how of RVN

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"We have paid market rates, not Sheikh rates. We only payed £18.5 million for Santi, not the £26 million they wanted"

Antonio Fernandez; Sporting Director

To take full advantage of the Spanish Transfer System, which I hope you all will, please take a few moments to read Heathxxx's thread;

FM12 - Spain: The Cotonou agreement and Spanich citizenship (Useful for player searches)

If any of you have any questions about the inner-workings of Spanish Football or just want to know something about his beloved Granada CF, just ask Heath. It wouldn't be wrong If I did call him a 'Spanish Football Guru'. He should take all accolade's for that thread, not me. Well Done Heath.

Well, that concludes my transfer feature. I hope it will guide many of you and allow you to make a calculated decision. Good Luck!

VAMOS MÁLAGA!

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Málaga CF - The tactics

In any FM'er career, tactics will dominate his/her thoughts. With so many managers now turning to the 'Barça-esque' tiki-taka style of play, the market has become crowded a little but, that's not going to deter me from attempting to play that way. Have a look at the following formations and line-ups that I would suggest or encourage you to use;

trioofformations.png

4-2-3-1;

This formation is becoming ever more used, and overused may I add, in World Football. The theory is that you have a 3 man line in behind the striker which will look to supply and score goals for each other. These 3 men are usually the creative force of the team once they are out on the pitch. We then have 2 midfielders who are sitting a little deeper, in that CM slot, who will look to pick the ball up from deep, pass it about a little and supply the 4 men ahead of them. In this case, the midfield set-up that I intend on creating is more of a 3-man pivot. Júlio Baptista will occupy the 'hole role'; in real-life he tends to drift about there, getting on the ball and picking a pass or taking a shot. In game, I'm going to play him as a 'Attacking Midfielder>Support' [This should allow him to come deep for the ball, almost making it a 3-man midfield in the process, turning and going.] We then come to Apoño, who is good defensively and in the attack. I've set him up as a 'Deep-Lying Playmaker>Support' - This will allow him a considerable amount of freedom but, not too much. One thing that you are looking to avoid doing in La Liga is allowing to many midfielders to get forward too often and only leaving one back in defence. It will not work. So, a 'DLP>Support' role would be the better option as it does accommodate the best of both worlds. Now, we go onto Jérémy Toulalan and his 'Ball-Winning Midfielder' role which he has perfected over his years at Lyonnais. The object of his game is to break up opposition attacking movements by remaining disciplined; he will look to get himself about the pitch a lot, especially in your own half. Once he does regain possession, he should then look for a pass to someone further forward on the pitch, into a Baptista or Apoño for example. Also, Cazorla should be used as either a 'Inside Forward>Attack' or a 'Advanced Playmaker>Attack'; with Júlio Baptista looking to drop deep regularly, space will open up in the middle and Cazorla is the perfect candidate to exploit that space.

4-4-1-1;

In stark contrast to the 4-2-3-1, this is being named less and less on team sheets in the current climate of European Football; especially in Spain. In essence, it's a deeper, less 'frilly' variation of the 4-2-3-1 tactic. With this fomation, I've decided to use the same deep midfield set-up as I did with the 4-2-3-1 tactic, although Apoño will now become a 'box-to-box' midfielder in an attempt to exploit the space left by the AML/AMR dropping deeper. With the AML/AMR being pushed back into a deeper role, I've changed the personnel to suit the player roles and position. The ML spot is now occupied by Duda, a wonderful crosser of the ball, and you should look to exploit that. By playing him as a 'Wide Midfielder>Support', it will let him sit on the left-hand side, aiming to pick up the ball and releasing it early into the box; he hardly ever beats a man so, this would be the better option. Cazorla on the other side should be used as a bog standard 'Winger>Attack', his main objective is to get up the right-hand side well, reaching the byline and causing havoc with a low driven ball into the middle. You may also notice a change of role with Júlio Baptista too. With the AML/AMR dropping deeper, this will increase the amount of space available to him. There's no need for him to drop deep any longer as, especially with Cazorla back there, so try and get him to break ahead of the striker. This now leads me onto the striker and it's change of role. I've decided to change him to a 'Complete Forward>Attack' to open up more space for the likes of Júlio Baptista and Apoño to break into. If Rondón or RVN is out wide, space will open for Baptista and Apoño to attack.

4-3-3/4-1-2-3;

Whatever you want to call it. This formation would be geared up for the more opposing of opponents in which you expect to lose the battle of the midfield against. To stop the likes of Barça playing, you have to flood the midfield with player who are going to track back and work hard. Toulalan will be the soul of that team too; commanding the defensive procedures. Take note that I'm now playing Cazrola as an 'Advanced Playmaker>Attack' - Due to the lack of players' breaking forward, only Maresca would really do that, there will be space inbetween the opposition defence and mdifield that will need to be attacked and used as best as possible. Cazorla coming off the left-hand side onto his right foot is something that will strike fear into any opponent. Look to make him your Playamaker for that one.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Conclusion

Why Málaga? Well, just one glance at the ambition that this club has and it should be enough to persuade you. After promotion from Liga Adalente in 2008, the club has only gone from strength to strength. A new owner and president in Al-Thani, new players in Cazorla, Baptista, Demichelis and Van Nistelrooy and a new-found sense of achievement and faith which has been fuelled by last years' survival two weeks before the end of the season. Málaga are a team on the up and can only progress. What about that massive challenge that lies ahead; the de-coronation of Barça and Real Madrid. This club has massive, massive potential which is hard to ignore.

Llew, I want this save to be realistic as possible... Don't fear or worry, this is where I, as a Málaga fan and FM thread maker, come in;

All this file will do is change Málaga's sugardaddy from a 'Background' to a 'Foreground'. In essence, it will give you more money. I believe, as do many other people, that SI have got this aspect wrong in the game and we're just rectifying a 'missed aspect' of this wonderful game.

I assume that most of you FM'er veterans have downloaded one of these before but, incase you havn't follow this simple step.

1) Download this file and place it in here;

C:\Users\*YourName*\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\Editor Data

If you havn't got a 'Editor Data' file, just simply make one. Enjoy!

[Please bare in mind, this is probably not the finished article just yet. It will be subject to various add-ons that I feel are necessary; WATCH THIS SPACE!]

JUGAR CON FORMULAS VICTORIOSA...

VAMOS MÁLAGA!

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Definitely my save after my Sunderland one or if I feel crazy at the same time lol. Thing that attracts me is the club has good financial backing to try and topple the big two, with all the other good teams in La Liga should be a decent challenge.

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What an excellent thread so far, i think I'm going to start a save with this team
hey llew... inspired me to start my very first proper save with the demo with malaga... il update as i go :)

Cheers for the compliments lads; this is actually my first ever club thread so, I'm pretty pleased about it so far. I still have the 'Tactics section' to write up though :D

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Cheers for the compliments lads; this is actually my first ever club thread so, I'm pretty pleased about it so far. I still have the 'Tactics section' to write up though :D

Very good especially for a first thread.

I had a bid accepted for Tevez but he refuses to discuss a transfer. Surely Demichelis having such low concentration makes him a bit of a liability doesn't it?

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its actually a struggle to fit RVN, rondon, santi, baptista, buonanotte and toulalan all in the same team.. not to mention jaoquin, isco, camacho and maresca and co aswell..

but a good problem to have of course

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Well, I would start a save with them on the demo, but I just don't like playing demo's because it's not the same as the real game I think :D But I will be doing a Malaga save at some point in my FM Career, a long with Arsenal, Dortmund and maybe a few other teams :p also I have been to Malaga's stadium and seen them play :)

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Isn't Albiol bought by Malaga irl? He would join in January iirc. It should be implemented in the game seeing that it was done a couple of weeks ago before the game went gold.

Btw awesome OP.

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Isn't Albiol bought by Malaga irl? He would join in January iirc. It should be implemented in the game seeing that it was done a couple of weeks ago before the game went gold.

Btw awesome OP.

Yeah what Malikoi said, just reports, nothing confirmed yet, but Albiol came out and said "I'm not going anywhere"

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Superb thread mate. :thup: Will definately have a game of these, probably my second save on the full game. :)
Isn't Albiol bought by Malaga irl? He would join in January iirc. It should be implemented in the game seeing that it was done a couple of weeks ago before the game went gold.

Btw awesome OP.

Wonderful OP, I'm hoping to have a save as Malaga when the full game comes out.

Cheers for the compliments lads; it took an age to do as I'm pleased with any accolade :D As for Raúl Albiol, I wrote this without even knowing about this 'proposed transfer' so, It would be quite realistic to bring him to La Rosaleda in the demo. Cheers once again :)

Yeah what Malikoi said, just reports, nothing confirmed yet, but Albiol came out and said "I'm not going anywhere"

Yes, he's come out saying that he has 'no problem with Mourinho' and 'vows to fight for his place'.

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Great thread. As a Malaga fan I have been waiting for someone to start a thread about us. We haven't proved to be too popular in the other versions of FM but now we have money and are likely to be challenging Barca and Real in the years to come they will be a great save.

One small point, I would class Baptista as an attacking midfielder and not a striker. I play him in the AM role in a 4-2-3-1 and he has been on fire. My AM says he is the best AM at the club.

I wanted to give everyone a fair chance, However I did however sign three players. Rio Mavuba to partner Toulalan in midfield, Guti as experianced back up to Baptista in AM and Gary Cahill to partner Demichiles

So far I played 5 league games and won them all! I use 4-2-3-1 however the two in the midfield I play deeper (in the DM role). Juaquin, Rondon and Willy (GK) have been excellent

Ohhhh, and great write up. You got everything spot on. Good work!

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Santi Cazorla... superb player.

Was absolutely outstanding when I watched my disjointed Granada CF get stuffed 4-0 at La Rosaleda.

Apparently there's around 2000 expat British season ticket holders at Málaga. Laughably, I was the only British expat wearing Granada colours that night. As far as I know, I'm the only British season ticket holder at Granada. Quite a comparison eh! :D

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How the hell Cazorla went to Malaga???

He could easily play at Real Madrid, Barça, Manu, Bayern...

Because he saw the obvious ambition that Málaga have shown over the past season or so. The signing of Júlio Baptista was the catalyst for the deal. I've talked about it in the history section in my OP :D

:thup:

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grate story mate, once the full version will be available for sure I will play a game with Malaga. Also in the DEMO i've take them to see how is goin' with the squad, what are the possible transfers etc. Anyway for me is a real challenge to try to place the team on a european position for the next season :D

have a nice day

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Llew, you've got me intrigued here. A team with no history of major honours, potential massive opportunity to change that.

Does anyone know of where I can find a brief guide to how the 'B' team system works in Spain, e.g. promoting/relegating players and salaries/transfers etc? I've never got my heard round managing in Spain on recent versions.

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Excellent thread there Llew, a lot of time and effort put in there I'd imagine.

Interesting challenge with Malaga this season, they're in quite a similar situation to PSG (a lot of money and a lot of expectation), so it's nice to see a meticulous, extensively researched thread for a club with I have no doubt will be very popular on FM12.

Well done mate. :thup:

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Llew, you've got me intrigued here. A team with no history of major honours, potential massive opportunity to change that.

Does anyone know of where I can find a brief guide to how the 'B' team system works in Spain, e.g. promoting/relegating players and salaries/transfers etc? I've never got my heard round managing in Spain on recent versions.

Well yeah Heath how is this done in FM?

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Santi Cazorla... superb player.

Was absolutely outstanding when I watched my disjointed Granada CF get stuffed 4-0 at La Rosaleda.

Apparently there's around 2000 expat British season ticket holders at Málaga. Laughably, I was the only British expat wearing Granada colours that night. As far as I know, I'm the only British season ticket holder at Granada. Quite a comparison eh! :D

I can confirm that number as I was one of those 2000 expats. I was at the Granda game, did you not see the huge st George cross with the Malaga ultras? The British fans have been embraced by the locals and they travel to most away games which is rare in Spain. How good was Cazorla in the 4-0????!!!!

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Just a quick question, I know it might be a stupid one. Can I not carry on my demo save once I buy the game?

Hello mate, you will be able to carry on the save from the demo in the full version of the game :)

Also you will take advantage from the new system to add new leagues etc.

Thanks!

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Llew, you've got me intrigued here. A team with no history of major honours, potential massive opportunity to change that.

Does anyone know of where I can find a brief guide to how the 'B' team system works in Spain, e.g. promoting/relegating players and salaries/transfers etc? I've never got my heard round managing in Spain on recent versions.

I think they're treated as "affiliated clubs" aren't they? You can transfer players between the teams, but only during official registration periods (the transfer windows).

What's more, you can play 3 (I think it's 3) players that are registered for your 'B' team in your 'A' team match squad. So if you can't fit all of your players into your squad registration (which can be hard in Spain sometimes), you can register them for the 'B' team, then move them back to the 'A' team. You can probably get around Non-EU registered player restrictions this way also, provided those restrictions still exist.

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I think they're treated as "affiliated clubs" aren't they? You can transfer players between the teams, but only during official registration periods (the transfer windows).

What's more, you can play 3 (I think it's 3) players that are registered for your 'B' team in your 'A' team match squad. So if you can't fit all of your players into your squad registration (which can be hard in Spain sometimes), you can register them for the 'B' team, then move them back to the 'A' team. You can probably get around Non-EU registered player restrictions this way also, provided those restrictions still exist.

Cool thanks. So it's like a loan if you drop a player down?

The manager of the B team can't buy/sell, can he? That's left to me? Or interfere with contracts of players in the B team? And does the B team salary use my salary allowance or have it's own?

Sorry at the machine gun questions, but I just want to be clear if/when I take on Malaga. :)

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It's a bit of a mix I guess.

Consider it like a "Reserves" team in the EPL, but one which you can only transfer to and from during official transfer windows.

So far as I'm aware, the B team is very much still under your management so, unless he's set to do so, the assistant manager wont handle contracts, nor will he buy-sell. The B team's salary would come under your allowance, unfortunately.

I wouldn't mind getting a second opinion to confirm this though.

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