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Interview

Tapia: “He’s been able to find the right path”

Fuengirola-born coach, Antonio Tapia speaks to the Club’s website ahead of Betis-Málaga in Sevilla tomorrow: “Both teams arrive within the set target.”

One of the most important coaches in the history of Málaga CF, Antonio Tapia, was also part of Real Betis Balompié.  “It’s a special match for me, between two teams I had the honour of heading up, with very close links.  There is great rivalry between both sides, both who arrive within the set target before the competition, full of ambition, so I think it’ll be a fantastic game.”

Tapia warmly welcomes the recent renewal of Javi Gracia as Blue and Whites’ coach: It’s a well-deserved move.  He’s shown his capability on all fronts.  On a sporting level, he’s covered all expectations for these two seasons; he’s also promoted young players from the academy to the first team, which has been of great benefit to the Club; and from a social aspect, the fans are content with the team’s performance and value the coach’s work.  It’s a wonderful challenge that can bring continuity to the project, and the Club secures a highly-valued key part of the organisation.  It’s a very wise decision.”

Antonio is clear about Gracia’s qualities: “I emphasise his competence, and with few resources has made great achievements.  He’s capable of securing positive results in matches against major rivals.  He’s a very adept manager, with one of his most admirable qualities being the honesty he has with himself.  He’s been able to find the right path.”

The coach from Los Boliches misses the day to day in the dugout: “It’s not easy returning to train, but I’ve done it.  I’m not ruling anything out should an interesting option come about, but it would have to be something very clear.  However, it’s true that I’m already climbing the walls to fulfil my competitive ‘fix’,” says Antonio Tapia, who is highly appreciated by the Málaga fans: “I think I was right to leave when I did, as we achieved our objectives and I left with good memories.  The fans continue to show their love, I have a special feeling about Málaga and some fantastic memories.”

Finally, referring to Betis and Málaga, the coach born in Baena wishes “the best” and hopes “they achieve their objectives” to the two teams who have marked the long footballing career of a Málaga coach and Malaguista, whose phenomenal work within the Club since it was re-founded in 1994, makes history with his own name: Antonio Tapia Flores.