As Malaga prepare to face Valencia this coming weekend, Manuel Iturra has reflected on how he hopes the season will never end.
The Chilean was picked up from Segunda Division football in the summer on a free transfer and has since emerged as a reliable figure in midfield at La Rosaleda.
“I’m living the dream. This entire season has been absolutely incredible, and two or three years ago I never would have believed I’d be playing in major competitions. I never want this season to end!” joked Iturra to reporters this week.
Saturday night sees the Costa del Sol outfit travel up to Valencia in a meeting between fifth and sixth in La Liga. Both teams are level on 50 points and in contention for the fourth and final Champions League qualification berth.
“Saturday’s game will be extremely difficult. Valencia are a direct rival and are always very strong in home matches.
“Like us, they’re determined to reach Champions League qualification next season, so both teams need to win as there are only a few League games left.
“Imposing our style of football and bringing the three points back home will be crucial for us.”
The race for fourth looks to be between the Anchovies, Los Che and Real Sociedad.
“They are also a very determined team with some quality players. They’ve got some tough games coming up against direct rivals, so the fight for fourth place is going to be tight.
“[But, qualification] completely depends on us. We’ve got some very difficult matches before the end of the season against major teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid, both away games.
“Other rivals such as Deportivo have also been playing well, so it’s fair to say the final stretch of the season is going to be hard-fought.
“We’ll concentrate on each match at a time, and focus on ensuring the points from home games remain at La Rosaleda, so we can continue our fight for fourth place.”