Saviola: Malaga exceeds my expectations

Javier Saviola says he is now happy and that his signing by Malaga from Benfica has exceeded all his expectations.

The former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker joined the Costa del Sol club just before the close of the summer transfer window and things could not have gone better, Manuel Pellegrini’s men sitting third in La Liga and having won their opening two Champions League group fixtures.

In an interview with Ole, it was something the 30-year-old claims he was not expecting when he decided to put pen to paper at La Rosaleda.

“I knew I was coming to a club where the Coach makes playing good football a priority, and also to a city where the people are football mad, but even more so now with what is happening with the team,” said Saviola.

“It has been infectious, both for us and the supporters, and to be honest it has surpassed all my expectations.”

He also had words of praise for Pellegrini, who took a chance on him at a time when it looked as if his career was going gradually downhill in Portugal.

“He is a very relaxed Coach but at the same time he has his own personality. He imposes his respect and values on others while aiming to play the game the right way.

“He also kept the players highly motivated despite not knowing what was going to happen with the club.”

Asked about Malaga challenging Real Madrid and Barca for the La Liga title this season, Saviola thinks it highly unlikely.

“In all truth, and not to mislead anybody, we know they are both superior to the rest. We notice it out on the pitch when we try to play against them as equals, but they are too strong,” he explained.

Tags Benfica Saviola