The midfielder has voiced his opinion that the ambitious La Liga side are now among Spain's elite clubs following heavy investment in the squad so far this summer
By Stefan Coerts
Jul 10, 2011 3:13:00 PM
Malaga midfielder Apono believes that his side are up there with traditional powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid as a new point of reference in Spanish football.
The ambitious Primera Division outfit have signed players such as Ruud van Nistelrooy, Joris Mathijsen, Jeremy Toulalan and Joaquin and Malaga have set their sights on qualifying for Champions League football in 2011-12.
"We know that we are the team in the spotlight now. Who would have thought this? Malaga, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the new points of reference in Spanish football," Apono said to EFE.
"Winning La Liga is nearly impossible, but playing for the Champions League places is a realistic option. We have to take it one match at a time."
The club were boosted by coach Manuel Pellegrini's decision to sign a two-year contract extension at La Rosaleda earlier this week, in a deal that is set to keep the Chilean tactician at the club until 2015.
Malaga start the new season with a home game against Barcelona on August 19. They were beaten 3-1 by the Spanish champions on the last day of the 2010-11 campaign