Joaquin hails Champions League progression as an 'important step' for Malaga

The former Valencia winger remarked on the differences of reaching the last eight with his current club than earlier in his career, but insists the side must continue to compete
Malaga attacker Joaquin believes advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals is an "important step" for the club.

Manuel Pellegrini's side secured a 2-0 win over Porto on Wednesday, following goals from Isco and Roque Santa Cruz, allowing them to reach the last eight in their maiden season in the tournament with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Joaquin, who reached the same stage with Valencia back in 2007, was elated to have helped his current side continue on their remarkable European adventure, which he feels is strikingly different to any other in his career to date.

"We are, as are the fans, ecstatic. I think we were the deserved winners. Now we have to continue competing," he told reporters.

"It's different with Malaga than with other clubs, the dream is different, it's the first time in the history of the club and it's happening in an incredible way.

"It means a lot to reach the next round. We showed effort and commitment, we never stopped working. We've gone through some difficult times and this represents a very important step.

"To be in the top eight in Europe is an important step for us. We are only one step away from the semi-finals.

"At first, it was not easy. There was a euphoric atmosphere, a lot of nervousness. They are a great team, we got into the game bit by bit and created chances, and Isco's goal changed the game. From that point on we stepped up."

The 31-year-old added that he is not concerned about who his side are pitted against when the draw for the next round is made on Friday, though he suggested one opponent who he may prefer over others.

"I don't mind who we play next, [but] Galatasaray would not be bad," he said.