The Malaga Academy project finally broke ground this week, bringing an end to more than seven years of posturing and red tape.
Politicians and representatives from all levels of government, as well as club directors, attended the ceremony last Thursday where the symbolic first stone was laid.
The first phase of the project, of which there are three, got under way this week, but the construction company responsible for the project, Bilba, insists that completion before the start of preseason is an unrealistic target. Instead, the Academy should be ready by the start of 2019, but sources inside the club are hopeful it can be done before then.
Club advisor and former player and manager Abdullah Ben Barek gave the 'starting pistol' on the project located on land in the Arraijanal district of Malaga, close to the city's airport. It will cost more than six million euros, 4.5 of which will come from the sale of land at El Viso - the club's only current site for youth development.
Barek thanked all of the local teams who have helped to accommodate Malaga's young players over the years and he, alongside fellow advisors Francisco Martín Aguilar and Antonio Benítez, as well as Nayef and Hamyan Al-Thani, all signed a shirt which was placed into a monument to this landmark day.