Two decades ago, on 27th August 2002, Málaga CF won the UEFA Intertoto Cup, achieving the first European title for an Andalusian team. A milestone that the Club commemorated in an intimate act at La Rosaleda.
Joaquín Peiró's team won one of the finals of the competition against Villarreal CF. After winning the first leg at El Madrigal with a fantastic goal by Gerardo from a direct free kick (0-1, 8’), La Rosaleda Stadium donned its finery in the middle of summer for the return leg.
The Blue and Whites made the most of the victory in Castellón and drew at home (1-1), winning the trophy that gave access to the UEFA Cup by 2-1 on aggregate. Captain Mikel Roteta, in minute 31 of the first half, scored Málaga's goal. Aranda from El Palo equalised for the visitors in minute 65.
After brilliantly eliminating Belgian outfit Gent and Dutch side Willem II in the two previous rounds, MCF made history in their first European appearance by beating another Spanish team. It was the start of an incredible adventure that ended in the UEFA quarterfinals, losing on penalties against Portuguese side Boavista during the unforgettable 2002/03 season.
Last Thursday we remembered this achievement once again with a meeting between the stars of that era and a group of fans. The Club, led by José María Muñoz, MCF’s judicial administrator; Francisco Martín Aguilar, Protocol and Institutional Relations adviser; José Antonio Ruiz Guerra, adviser; and Manolo Gaspar, sporting director; welcomed everyone to the event, organised by the MCF Foundation. Once all the protagonists were present, Lucas Rodríguez and Sebastián Fernández 'Basti', Foundation representatives, guided the large group through La Rosaleda’s Museum & Tour to show them the new space dedicated to the UEFA Intertoto Cup won 20 years ago.
Once the event was over, the 20 Loyal Malaguistas who won the Meet & Greet prize draw enjoyed a pleasant chat with the former players from that time. Contreras, Bravo, Litos, Iznata, Valcarce, Josemi, Manu Sánchez, Duda, Juanito and Koke were all involved. Antonio Serrano, Juan Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Zambrana, Javier Souvirón, Juan Carlos Pérez-Frías and Mariano Santiago completed the representation of that magnificent group of the 2002/2003 season. In addition, photographers Mariano Pozo and Francisco Rodríguez were present as special guests in the tribute to the feat achieved in the 2002/03 campaign.