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Apr 6, 2011

Farfan lashes out at Magath

Schalke star Jefferson Farfan strongly criticised the regime of previous manager Felix Magath following the club's excellent 5-2 Champions League win over Inter on Tuesday night.

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Under the control of new coach Ralf Rangnick, Schalke stunned San Siro with a comprehensive victory that almost certainly has given the German club a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League, with the second leg in Gelsenkirchen still to come.

Magath was the man who took Schalke to the last eight of the competition, but in March he was sacked due to the club's poor form in the Bundesliga and after it became apparent he no longer had the support of prominent sections of the dressing room.

Now Farfan has laid bare the tensions that afflicted Schalke during Magath's reign.

"The psychological pressure of Mr Magath has gone and now we are enjoying ourselves again at Schalke," Farfan told Sport Bild. "The new coach is trying to construct a relationship of faith with the players. I am very happy at Schalke and I will do everything for this club. Schalke is my priority.

"The problems between Mr Magath and myself were undeniable. There was no communication flow - the only time he would talk to me was when he was giving me a fine. It was just work, work, work. The time under Magath was a huge strain psychologically."

Farfan was linked with a January move to Wolfsburg, but had he switched clubs he would have been reunited with Magath, who joined the club after being sacked by Schalke in March.

When asked what his reaction would have been in that situation, Farfan replied: "I would have dropped dead. I have considered what it would have been like and I think I would have terminated my contract and gone home to Peru.

"I would rather have shifted earth and stones back there than play under Magath."

Magath said he was surprised by the margin of Schalke's win. He told Die Welt: "I said before that reaching the semi-finals was realistic, but for Schalke to practically seal their passage in the first leg did surprise me. That was a fantastic performance from Schalke. Of course I watched the game and I was very pleased for the team."

Meanwhile, Schalke coach Rangnick has said that he masterminded the win over Inter after watching how Milan defeated their city rivals in Serie A at the weekend.

"We observed them in the derby against Milan and we could see there that whoever defends in numbers against Inter has got to be good on the counter-attack," he said. "Therefore, we intentionally played attacking football. We wanted to find the holes in their defence.

"It could have ended 5-10 or 4-8. It was a fantastic match and, for us, a marvellous evening. For me personally, it was the best game ever. If anybody had told us before the game that we would have beaten Inter by three goals, I would have said that they were crazy."

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