‘Uncomfortable’ Ramos leaving Malaga after fan tension

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Malaga coach Juande Ramos is leaving the Spanish club after only half a season in charge.

In a statement released late on Tuesday, the Qatari-owned club said that the 62-year-old Spaniard had agreed to cut short his contract by 2 + years.

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The departure of Ramos comes after the team’s strong run in the Spanish league was halted by a 4-1 loss at Sevilla and its disappointing elimination by a second division team in the Copa del Rey. Some fans at La Rosaleda stadium called for Ramos’ firing after the cup exit to Cordoba following a 4-3 defeat on Dec. 21.

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In a statement published on the club’s website, Ramos mentioned “the tension during recent matches that didn’t help the team” as his motive for leaving.

“Football is susceptible to change and in adverse situations we managers are often the ones who are wronged,” Ramos said. “In this specific case, I have decided to remove myself from a situation that was uncomfortable and unsatisfying.”

The team had been playing well, given its lack of top talent, until those losses to regional rivals Sevilla and Cordoba just before the Spanish winter break.

Prior to that, Malaga equaled a club record of five straight home wins and an impressive 0-0 draw at Barcelona’s Camp Nou.

Under Ramos, Malaga had developed a useful habit of late goals. It scored three 90th-minute goals, and another five in the final 20 minutes, all of which earned the team points.

Ramos agreed to take over Malaga this summer, ending a two-year hiatus from coaching for the former Real Madrid, Tottenham and Sevilla boss. Ramos had also managed Malaga near the beginning of his coaching career in 2003-04.

“Malaga Football Club wants to thank Juande Ramos for his work and honesty and wishes him good luck in the future,” the Andalusian club said.

The club has not announced a replacement. Its next game is at Celta Vigo on January 8.