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Málaga Football Club

Malaga FootballWhen you ask a Spaniard what football team they support, there’s about a 50 per cent chance they’ll answer Real Madrid or Barcelona FC. However, those football fans lucky enough to live in Marbella will know that there’s a team on the Costa del Sol that has grown in both popularity and strength over the past few years, and can give both these super clubs a run for their money. Of course we are talking about Los Boquerones (The Anchovies, in reference to a popular local delicacy), or Málaga Club de Football, as they are properly known.Malaga Football ClubThis well-supported club from the provincial capital is just an hour’s drive from Marbella and owned by the wealthy Qatari Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, who is also financing the new port in Marbella. Thanks to the investments made possible by him, Málaga qualified for the Champions League for the first time in its history last season. Sadly they were subsequently banned by UEFA from playing in the competition due to financial debts inherited from the past, which did not go down well with the club’s passionate followers. However, for those who have never ventured to the capital to see Málaga play, it’s well worth the visit. Playing in La Liga (Spain’s first division) you will of course get to see them playing the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid, but also Valencia, Atletico Madrid and FC Sevilla, with most games being a sell out. Part of the prelude to the match itself is the tradition of meeting up with friends at a local tavern or tapas bar in the city centre or the lively suburb around the Rosaleda stadium. Malaga Supporters ClubOnce inside La Rosaleda, the atmosphere is electric, with the two opposing sets of home ‘ultras’ competing to make the most amount of noise. Among the almost 30,000 fans that attend the home games of Málaga are not just locals but also a large ‘army’ of foreign fans, often organised in Scandinavian, German, Dutch or British supporters clubs. The largest of these is the Málaga Football Foreigners Supporters Club, conveniently based at the Tavern Bar in Marbella’s Old Town. Run by Englishman Ken Schooler since 2001, it organises coach trips to home games so that fans can enjoy camaraderie and needn’t worry about driving to and from the stadium. For more information on The International Supporters Club of Málaga call Ken on +34 646 609 320 or in the evenings on +34 952 772 814.