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Malaga coach Michel wants no final-day title drama vs. Real Madrid

Malaga coach Michel said he hopes his former side Real Madrid have already been crowned La Liga champions before the two teams meet on the final day of the season.

The Spanish title race looks likely to go down to the wire following Barcelona's Clasico win at Madrid on Sunday, with Barca top on head-to-head although Los Blancos have a game in hand.

Madrid play at Malaga's La Rosaleda on May 20 or 21, leading to the possibility that former Bernabeu hero Michel could potentially hand the title to Barca with a victory over his old team.

Speaking on radio show "El Larguero" after his team's 2-0 victory at Granada on Tuesday, he said: "It is my Real Madrid, but also my Malaga.

"I must respect the values I was taught at Madrid, to respect the competition and set out to win every game. My players would not let me look the other way that week.

"I would prefer if it was all over before the final weekend -- better to welcome the champions than to knock your old team -- but I am a professional.

"Whatever happens, things are not decided just in the last game. It is a championship with many games. But I will not be a protagonist that day. I believe it will all be decided before then."

Many in Spain have been recalling the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, when Madrid missed out on the final day at Tenerife and Barcelona took advantage.

The Tenerife coach at the time was ex-Madrid centre-forward Jorge Valdano, who would later serve as both coach and sporting director at the Bernabeu.

Asked whether there were similarities between Valdano's situation then and his now, Michel said: "There is a big difference, I believe. I'm much more of a Madridista.

"Everyone has talked to me about those final Ligas in Tenerife. And it's true that Valdano is a Madridista, but I am more, as I spent 25 years of my life at Real Madrid and I still follow them despite being here now at Malaga.

"Logically, my team now is Malaga. If I said anything, my players would give me a beating. The idea [of rolling over] is ridiculous. Anyone who knows me knows I have nothing to do with that type of thing.

"I always try to win -- that is what I like."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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