​It's 9 April 2013, and after a hard-fought stalemate at the Rosaleda, Malaga travel to Signal Iduna Park to take on Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.


Bundesliga champions for the previous two years, Dortmund had pedigree in Europe, having won the Champions League in 1997. However, their swashbuckling football, with a group of still relatively unknown players outside of Germany, led by the charismatic if idiosyncratic Jurgen Klopp, made them the neutrals' favourites after the years of domination by the English clubs and Barcelona.


However, in Malaga, ​Dortmund faced an even unlikelier upstart. The Costa del Sol club, bankrolled by eccentric Qatari-ownership and having assembled and exciting squad under manager Manuel Pellegrini, had reached the last eight in their first go at the ​Champions League - beating ​AC Milan, Zenit St Petersburg, Anderlecht and Porto along the way.

Ignacio Camacho,Willy Caballero,Martin Demichelis,Lucas Piazon


The Match


Malaga took the lead on the night through Joaquin, who dragged one into the bottom corner from outside the penalty area. 


Dortmund equalised before half time through 24-year-old striker Robert Lewandowksi after a sumptuous backheel assist from Marco Reus, but the away goals rule meant Malaga still held a big advantage.


An expectedly tense second half followed, culminating in one of the Champions League's most controversial final ten minutes in modern history.


After substitute Eliseu tapped home from Julio Baptista skewed shot on 82 minutes, it seemed as though Malaga had confirmed their improbable place in Europe's final four.


However, Reus then scored an equaliser in injury time as Klopp made kitchen sink motions from the edge of the technical area. With seconds left on the clock, centre-back Felipe Santana bundled home the winner on the line to send the Germans through.

Chaos followed as the Dortmund home support went into fits of hysteria, while Malaga's players turned on Scottish referee Craig Thompson and his assistants for an apparent offside. 


In subsequent replays, as many as four Dortmund players appear offside for the winning goal.


It's a pre-VAR decision that will never be forgotten on Spain's south coast. However, as Klopp pointed out post-match, Malaga's own second effort through Eliseu also benefitted from some questionable line judgement.


The Fallout


It was a goal that spelt the end for Malaga in more ways than one.


The following season Malaga were banned for competing in UEFA competitions for breaches of Financial Fair Play, while club president Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani's relationship with the club and its fans turned acidic.


Initially seen as a potential saviour in the mould of Manchester City's wealthy Middle Eastern benefactors, Al Thani's regime became a source of embarrassment for Malaga's fans as the financial situation became increasingly dire and the president continued to take potshots at UEFA and everyone else on Twitter.

Several key players left that summer of 2013, as the club's ambitions and financial might quickly shrank.


Seven years on, Malaga sit 15th in the Segunda Division, fighting off relegation to Spain's third tier and still sorting through the financial and organisational chaos left by the Al Thani era. 


That Champions League run seems like a bizarre fever dream. 


Here's what became of Malaga's damned Champions League stars of that night in 2013...


Goalkeeper & Defenders

Willy Caballero

GK: Willy Caballero - Now 38, the Argentine left Malaga to join his former boss Manuel Pellegrini at Man City in 2014 and is currently at ​Chelsea, having won a host of trophies but largely serving as backup at both clubs.


RB: Jesus Gamez - The homegrown full back joined Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid in 2014 as a bit-parter, where he went all the way to the Champions League final. He retired in 2018 at Newcastle.


LB: Vitorino Antunes - A loan signing during the season to cover for the January departure of Nacho Monreal, the Portugal international is now 33 and at Getafe by way of Dynamo Kiev.


CB: Martin Demichelis - After leaving in the summer of 2013, Demichelis filed legal action against Malaga for unpaid wages. A Premier League winner with Pellegrini's ​City in 2014, he actually returned to Malaga to finish his career.


CB: Sergio Sanchez - Normally little more than a backup, Sanchez started the Dortmund tie. After spells at Panathinaikos, Rubin Kazan and Espanyol, he is currently at Albacete aged 33.


Midfielders

Joaquin Sanchez

CM: Ignacio Camacho - A highly rated defensive midfielder, Camacho stayed at Malaga until 2017, playing nearly 200 games for the club. The one-cap Spain international then joined Wolfsburg but has struggled with injuries.


CM: Jeremy Toulalan - Malaga's second-biggest transfer of all time at €11m, the classy France international jumped ship to Monaco at the end of the season as things went south, playing over 100 games for the Monegasques before ending his career in 2018 with Bordeaux.


RW: Joaquin - At the age of 38, Joaquin is evergreen in more ways than one. After a short spell with Fiorentina, the winger is now back at boyhood club Betis. He became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in La Liga with his treble against Athletic Club back in December.


LW: Duda - The Portuguese winger, who captained Malaga against Dortmund, stayed with Malaga until his retirement in 2017, later returning as the club's youth academy director.


Forwards

Isco Alarcon

AM: Isco - Malaga's boy king, who won the Golden Boy award in 2012, signed for Real Madrid for €30m in the summer of 2013. Injuries and managerial changes have affected his recent trajectory but the 27-year-old has still won four Champions League titles. Another local boy, hailing from the resort town of Benalmadena, Isco remains popular at his former club.


ST: Julio Baptista - Once of Real Madrid, Arsenal and Roma, 'the Beast' went on a world tour after leaving Malaga in 2013, taking in Brazil, USA and briefly Romania before finally retiring as recently as 2019.


Subs: Carlos Kameni, Diego Lugano, Javier Saviola, Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Piazon, Francisco Portillo.