Malaga hero Isco said his team fully deserved to qualify for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after beating FC Porto 2-0 at home in the second-leg of its two game Round 16 series with the Portuguese champ, which finished 2-1 on aggregate. "It's a dream, something that had never been seen before in this city," Isco, who scored the opening goal shortly before halftime, said after the game. "We deserve it."
In an interview with UEFA.com, the 20-year-old added: "An achievement like [reaching the quarterfinals] seemed impossible only a short time ago. It is a dream for everyone here. We came out of the blocks with a lot of intensity because that is what this tie demanded of us. We then settled into the match and showed what we were capable of. I think we deserved the win.”
Teammate Jeremy Toulalan offered the highest possible praise for Isco, winner of the 2012 Golden Boy Award, comparing him to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. "Those games, you have to have great players to unlock them. Barcelona have Messi, we have Isco," Toulalan said. "This is historic. Since the beginning of our adventure, we have tried to go the furthest possible. We had to qualify. We played to our strengths."