Soccer

Schuster committed to Malaga for long haul

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Bernd Schuster intends to stay at Malaga for the long term and develop the team in the hope that Barcelona and Real Madrid will eventually loosen their grip on the Spanish league.

The former West Germany and Barcelona midfielder signed a five-year deal with Malaga on June 14 to replace Manuel Pellegrini after he left to take over Manchester City.

''We are looking for continuity. Working with a team and leaving your mark on it isn't a question of one or two months,'' Schuster told Malaga's club television on Sunday. ''I have arrived highly motivated and with a lot of energy. I believe in this new project that we are beginning and that it will work out well. The fans should know that I have not come here just to enjoy myself.''

The 53-year-old Schuster has coached for various clubs throughout Europe after finishing a successful playing career that included stints with Spanish powerhouses Barcelona, Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Schuster said that while he's excited to return to Spain, his least favorite aspect of La Liga is Barcelona and Madrid having won the last nine titles between them.

''I don't like this big gap established by the two big teams because of their economic possibilities,'' he said. ''But this league is still very competitive from fourth to 10th place. It's good that teams like Malaga or Real Sociedad and Rayo Vallecano fight to be in Europe. It helps even everything out. Those two will fight each other for the league title another year, but in the long run that will change.''

Schuster described Malaga's ban this season from the Europa League by UEFA because it didn't pay wages and taxes on time as a ''disgrace,'' but he appeared eager to move on from the club's dispute with European football's governing body and focus on the upcoming campaign.

''We are going to have a team that is highly motivated, with a style marked by my own experience as a player and as a coach, always taking on our opponents as equals,'' said Schuster. ''(I want) a fearless team that is brave. I think that style will please our fans, and we are going to put it into effect from the first day we step on the pitch.''

Schuster said at his presentation that his style of football was ''not that far'' from Pellegrini's balanced attacking style. However, the outspoken German is in many ways Pellegrini's opposite.

The Chilean, nicknamed ''The Engineer,'' was known during his years at Villarreal, Madrid and Malaga as a manager who liked to avoid controversy and protect his players. Pellegrini even managed to keep his team focused enough to reach the quarterfinals in the Champions League in its maiden appearance last season despite the club's late payment of salaries and its selling off of key players like Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal.

Schuster, by contrast, has never been one to hold back. After guiding Madrid to the league title in 2008, he was fired early in the next season after he said that ''it was impossible to beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou.''

Many observers are waiting to see how Schuster deals with Malaga's Qatari owners if they continue to sell the club's best players. Young midfielder Francisco ''Isco'' Alarcon has been linked to a move to Madrid or to follow Pellegrini to England.

After beginning his playing career in Germany, Schuster joined Barcelona in 1980 and helped it win one league title and three Copas del Rey. He then moved to fierce rival Madrid and won two more league titles before playing three years with Atletico. He returned to Germany for Bayer Leverkusen before finishing his career in the United States and Mexico.

He most recently coached Turkish side Besiktas in 2011. He also coached in Germany and in Ukraine, and Xerez, Levante and Getafe in Spain.

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