Malaga midfielder Jeremy Toulalan believes his coach Manuel Pellegrini acted as a saviour for the club in times of financial struggle.
The La Liga side had enjoyed economical backing from the royal family of Qatar until last season, when the sponsors suddenly lost interest in investing.
During the off-season, Malaga were forced to let go of some of their players, and the Frenchman is relieved he was not one of them.
“I had serious doubts that I could continue here,” the 29-year-old told AS.
“The situation was simple, I spoke to the club and they made me understand that they needed money and would have to sell players.
“But when I spoke to Pellegrini all doubts disappeared completely. We talked and listened to offers from other clubs, but once I talked to the coach everything was solved. Without Pellegrini, the team and the club would be dead.
“I came here because Pellegrini had full confidence in me. When I talked to him this summer, I got the same sense of confidence and that’s why I’m here. The message he gave me is the one he gave to the group.
“He is the core that holds us together. Without him, each of us would have gone to a different place.”
Toulalan praised team-mate Ignacio Camacho, labelling him as one of the team’s driving forces.
“This year Camacho is having continuity and he is one of the revelations of this Malaga. He has assumed a great responsibility,” he said.