Málaga coach Michel spoke to the media about tomorrow's crunch meeting with his fomer club, Real Madrid. It's a strange situation for the 54-year-old - on the one hand, it is the team's final appearance at La Rosaleda this season and his Málaga side will want to go into the summer holiday's on a high note, by treating fans to a win; if they do that however, it would scupper Real Madrid's chances of winning the league and effectively hand it to Barcelona on the head-to-head results... If that happens, fans of his old club in the capital might never forgive him...
"We're going to take Madrid to a battlefield they are not used to playing on", Michel told reporters today. "Those who know me well know the score. I'm happy that my friends now support Málaga a little more because of me".
I won't be on the pitch tomorrow playing against Madrid - Michel
Michel, the man who will decide the league title race? “I have distanced myself from any kind of protagonism. I've spent many years in football and I know how these things work. We are not part of some kind of movement that involves judges, guilty parties and innocent parties. I am no longer a player and the only protagonism I have is by being the coach. We are not going to be the judges of the league. It's going to be a great game".
Message to your team: “The message is the same as it always is. We are not going to change - that wouldn't be fair or believable. We have been working with the same intensity because it can't be any other way. The players have shown the trajectory they are on in the last few games and we can't suddenly change their thinking. The only thing my players want, and I hope my words are not taken out of context here, is to win every game - whoever they play”.
Fielding the most competitive side possible: “Those who we feel are the best and most to play will enter the team. Our training sessions have been exactly the same as always”.
Extra motivation: “We've had an erratic season and this morning I thanked the players for the efforts they have made. That's football. The reality is that Real Madrid is a great side; I'm relaxed about it because I won't be in the limelight. And now we'll see if Real Madrid are going to be crowned champions because Málaga let them… These situations which are taken out of context create a lot of hype. But the reality and the stats show us that Real Madrid is a great team and Málaga is starting to become one. I've seen stats which have us as one of the five best teams over the past 11 games”.
Does this scenario remind you of when Madrid lost the league in Tenerife? “What happened in Tenerife or in other circumstances has nothing to do with this game. You can keep insisting all you like. Is it a mess? I felt more hassled sat at home two months ago sipping a dry Martini. This is a wonderful situation to be in”
Michel on Málaga team news and Sandro's situation
Demichelis and Duda: “We are very grateful to both of them”.
Will Sandro be staying at the club? “Blimey! It's looking very complicated that he will continue with us. Next week is going to be extremely complicated. But that doesn't take anything away from a player who is keen to play, compete and stay here”.