Malaga are set to be without European football next season after UEFA handed them a ban for non-payment of bills, meaning that this season's run in the Champions League might be their last adventure on the continental stage for some time.
Having spent heavily in the transfer market under the ownership of Sheikh Al Thani, Malaga propelled themselves into the top four of Spanish football in the 2011-12 season, guaranteeing Champions League football for the present campaign.
Having made it through the group stages, they now face Portuguese side Porto in the last 16.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini is one of the most respected names in the game and has enjoyed success in Europe at Real Madrid and Villarreal prior to Malaga—but the fear now for the Andalusian side is that they may lose their head coach if he cannot be tested at the highest level.
A big run this season in the Champions League might be the only way to convince Pellegrini that he can have an important role to play in the longer term with Malaga. Here are the pros and cons of that situation that the club have to consider.