Malaga CF: How the Spanish Underachievers Are Making a Name for Themselves

Blake ThomasCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2011

MALAGA, SPAIN - MAY 16:  Players of Malaga celebrate after the La Liga match between Malaga and Real Madrid at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 16, 2010 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Malaga currently sit 16th in La Liga, just four points above the relegation zone, and can boast a league's worst 11 losses in 18 matches.

The Andalusian club also have the worst defensive record in all of Spain, conceding a total of 37 goals.

After avoiding relegation by just one point last season, Los Boquerones were determined to do their best this season—but things haven't started according to plan.

Make no mistake, there's no giving up now! In fact, Malaga aren't going down without a good fight. They have been ever active in this season's January transfer window and are determined to bolster their squad in order to avoid relegation.

After bringing in Bayern Munich defender Martín Demichelis on a season long loan, Malaga have also acquired Roma's attacking midfielder Julio Baptista and former Juventus midfielder Enzo Maresca.

They've also brought in Atletico Madrid's Ignacio Camacho and Sergio Asenjo, the latter on loan, as well as goalkeeper Ruben Martinez Andrade, Sporting left back Jose Angel, and Rosenborg's Kris Stadsgaard.

Recent reports have also linked the club with moves for Real Madrid's Mahammadou Diarra, Barcelona's Gabriel Milito, and most notably Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

For a bottom table club, these are some pretty high profile signings. So, where exactly is the money coming from?

The answer: Malaga's new president, Sheikh Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani.

The Qatari investor and member of the ruling family purchased the club in June 2010 from former owner Lorenzo Sanz.

He has gone on to help finance more than 8 transfers in the January transfer window alone, forking out a sum estimated to be around €10 million.

The club also underwent a large managerial switch in November and are currently being led by former Real Madrid and Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini, who has led the club to 8 wins in his first 12 games.

Does this all sound a bit familiar? A struggling club gets a Middle Eastern investor and all of a sudden they are one of Europe's top purchasing powers?

Yes, indeed it sounds like the story of Premier League club Manchester City. But the question is whether the results be similar.

After the 2008 takeover of the club, the Citizens have gone on to be a contender for the Premier League and one of the favorites in European competition this season.

But is this really achievable for Malaga? In all honestly, they are not likely to find themselves above the top ten this season, but in a few years can they be a Spanish and European powerhouse?