Santi Cazorla & Isco.

What happened to the nine players Malaga spent big on back in 2011?

Published Add your comment

Football News

Between 2011 and 2013, Malaga were one of the most interesting footballing projects in the world.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani took over in June 2010 and a year later, he was ready to spend big.

Manuel Pellegrini was in charge and was handed a serious war-chest to try and turn Malaga into one of Spain's powerhouses.

That season, they finished fourth in La Liga and qualified for the Champions League, before experiencing a rapid decline.

They're now in Spain's second-tier, but what happened to the nine players they splashed €57m on in the summer of 2011?


Arrived from Valencia and went on to become the young superstar of Spanish football at Malaga. Earned a big-money move to Los Blancos in 2013 where he continues to shine.


In just one season after arriving from Villarreal, Cazorla did enough to earn a move to Arsenal where he is still adored by the fans. He's now back at Villarreal after recovering from injury.

Cazorla during his days with Malaga


Arsene Wenger was clearly a fan of the Malaga project, plucking another one of their new signings back in January 2013. The 32-year-old is still Arsenal's first-choice left-back.


The Spanish winger arrived from Valencia and like most of the players and manager, he left back in 2013. A failed two-year spell at Fiorentina was followed by a successful three-year stint with Betis.

Joaquin celebrates a goal vs Borussia Dortmund


Was the backbone of Pellegrini's team for two years after arriving from Lyon. Toulalan then jumped ship to Monaco in 2013, before signing for Bordeaux where he left on rather sour terms in 2018.


The Spaniard enjoyed four seasons at Malaga after arriving from Sevilla. Had spells at Rubin Kazan and Espanyol before joining second-tier side Cadiz in 2018.

Sanchez in action for Malaga


The Dutch defender arrived from Hamburg and spent just one season in Spain. He moved to Feyenoord in 2012 before announcing his retirement in 2015.


Malaga was the Dutch legend's final destination after Hamburg, before announcing his retirement in 2012, scoring just four goals in 28 appearances - he was kept out of the team by Salomon Rondon.

Van Nistelrooy in action vs Real Madrid


Like Pellegrini, the Argentine centre-back decided to swap the sunny shores of Spain for Manchester City in 2013. He did return to Malaga in 2017 before announcing his retirement.

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Nacho Monreal
Spain Football
Santi Cazorla
La Liga

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again