By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Los Boquerones lost some of their best players over the summer while owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani made his dissatisfaction with the La Liga publicly known. There were also reports of players not being paid their wages on time and fans were therefore pessimistic of the club's fortunes this season.
However, Malaga have surprised everyone by performing really well in the new season on both the domestic and continental front. After seven games in the La Liga, Malaga are just five points behind the duo of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona and they won both of their matches in the Champions League group stages against Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg and Belgian champions Anderlecht.
Saviola, who joined the club on a free transfer from Benfica over the summer, is happy at the way things have turned out in his first few months at the club. And he believes that much of the credit should go to coach Manuel Pellegrini who has worked hard to maintain a semblance of order during a time of disarray.
"I knew I was coming to a club where the coach always gives priority to good football, and to a city where the people are driven by their passion for football," he told Ole, the newspaper.
"To be honest, it has exceeded all my expectations.
"He [Pellegrini] is a very quiet coach but has a lot of personality. He imposes his respect, values and prioritizes a good style.
"He has kept players highly motivated despite not knowing what would happen to the club."
The Argentinean even believes that Malaga can remain in the title race alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico.
"I wish to be sincere and don't want to mislead anyone, but I feel we are better than the rest.
"We always play to our best against every team."
Malaga play Real Valladolid in their next La Liga match at La Rosaleda on Sunday.