Football: Malaga name Javi Gracia new coach

May 30, 2014 - 1:59:07 pm

MADRID: Malaga announced Friday they have signed up coach Javi Gracia for the next two seasons after he quit relegated Osasuna.

Gracia, 44, takes over from Bernd Schuster, who was let go with an official departure date of June 30 after a disappointing season that left Malaga in 11th spot in the Spanish league.

Malaga, owned by Qatari investor Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani, said Gracia would be presented to the press on June 3 at the La Rosaleda stadium.

"Malaga Club de Futbol has reached an agreement with Javi Gracia for him to be the blue and whites' coach for the next two seasons," it said in a statement.

Gracia comes to Malaga after a tough period at Osasuna, which he took over after the start of last season, originally planning to stay for two years.

However, Osasuna were relegated to the second division on the last day of the season, when a barrier at their El Sadar stadium in Pamplona collapsed, injuring 58 fans.

Gracia announced last week he was leaving Osasuna.

Gracia began his playing career in the lower ranks of Athletic Bilbao.

He played with Spanish first division sides Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad and Villareal in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Gracia turned to coaching with second division Pontevedra in 2006, later moving to Greece and then returning to Spain to oversee Almeria's promotion to the first division in 2012-13. (AFP)

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