Just a few days after Javi Gracia's departure was confirmed following two years at the helm, Malaga CF have announced the appointment of Juande Ramos as their new manager on a three-year deal.
The coach from Ciudad Real, central Spain, is therefore returning to the place he called home during the 2003/04 season, when he guided Malaga to a commendable 10th-place finish. That year at La Rosaleda aside, Ramos's long and distinguished LaLiga coaching career includes stints at Rayo Vallecano, Real Betis, RCD Espanyol, Real Madrid and, most notably, Sevilla FC, where he won the Copa del Rey, two UEFA Cups, the Spanish Super Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. He also boasts considerable experience outside Spain, having managed English side Tottenham Hotspur, Russians CSKA Moscow and Ukrainians Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
Malaga have impressed en route to finishing eighth and ninth in the last two campaigns, but Ramos made it clear during his unveiling that he has arrived full of ambition and aiming to take the Andalusians on to even greater heights: "I'm convinced that the owners are looking to do something big here. In the short and medium term we're going to make big strides as a team, as we seek to compete with the top sides. Anything less than a European place will be an underachievement for us. As a team we're going to continually be looking to better ourselves. We'll be setting ourselves ambitious targets and we'll get better every year. The owners are ambitious and that's what's brought me here," declared the 61-year-old.
Ramos also underlined the reasons why he's returning to a club of which he holds such great memories. "My strong desire to return to Malaga was ultimately what sealed the deal and that's why I'm here. Both parties have had to do things to make this happen. I believe that there's a very strong sporting structure in place at the club. The owners know what everyone at this club wants. The fact that I follow football and I like Malaga means that I've got an in-depth knowledge of the squad," added Ramos.
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