Malaga want win for grieving Pellegrini
Malaga defender Martin Demichelis says his side want to progress past Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg so they can dedicate the victory to their coach Manuel Pellegrini, whose father Emilio passed away last weekend.
Pellegrini heard the sad news prior to Saturday's La Liga game at Real Sociedad, but kept it to himself before informing the squad afterwards and then flying to Chile for the funeral.
The former Villarreal and Real Madrid boss missed Monday's pre-game press conferences, but is expected at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion in time for kick-off on Tuesday evening, when the sides begin again after last week's scoreless first leg in Malaga.
Speaking with reporters, Boquerones centre-back Demichelis said he and his team-mates were sorry for their coach's loss and would give everything to win the game for him.
"We would like to win this one for him," the former Argentina international said. "We are all sad. First our coach did not tell us about his father passing away, that shows his greatness. We now have offered him our condolences. But he will be with us tomorrow and we will try everything to go through for him."
The Bundesliga side had the better chances at La Rosaleda last Wednesday, but were unable to get an important away goal. Demichelis said the 0-0 scoreline gave his side an excellent chance to go through to the semi-finals.
"The first-leg result was not a bad one for us," he said. "Those who think Dortmund are almost through already are mistaken. If we show our qualities, and play with high intensity, lots of running, aggression, intelligence and confidence, we can do well here. We've got nothing for free so far, we will give nothing away for free either."
Meanwhile, Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has urged fans to support their team as if it is going to be the club's last game in the competition for some time.
"It is possible that [Tuesday] will be our last night for a while, so why not go out there and give everything there is? That said, everyone wants to be 5-0 up after 12 minutes and ease through, I doubt Malaga will do us that favour," Klopp told the pre-match press-conference on Monday. "If you want to reach the semis, you have to endure difficult moments and we have done that so far."
With some 63,000 Dortmund supporters expected at the game, Klopp also told fans that "for 90 minutes all that matters should be this game of football", and that everybody needed "to be on fire and convinced that we can do it".
The Bundesliga side are unbeaten in their nine Champions League games this season and have won all four of their home ties.
"We want to continue to write this wonderful story that the Champions League is for us," Klopp said. "We are still keen to go on in this competition. Everyone is really looking forward to this. There are two extreme ways of approaching this game. Either you feel only the pressure or you feel only the sense of opportunity. The latter has served us well so far."
Klopp will have his full squad available after resting seven key players for Dortmund's 4-2 win over Augsburg at the weekend. Germany defender Mats Hummels should return to the squad but is likely to start the game on the bench, where he could be joined by returning Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Elsewhere, according to Bild, Dortmund are ready to splash out €2 million on bonuses if the club secure a place in the Champions League semi-final draw for the first time since 1998.
"We will not comment on any numbers. But, of course, we have negotiated a bonus. Reaching the semis would be an extraordinary achievement and we will honour that appropriately," Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke said.