Barça, owner and lord of the Copa del Rey for the last four seasons and by far the most successful club in the history of the dean of the official tournaments of Spanish football, puts at stake his status as champion in a final against a Valencia that will try to lift a title eleven years after conquering his last KO tournament against Getafe at the Vicente Calderón in 2008, after a league campaign to forget saved by that conquest of the hand of Ronald Koeman as coach.
To the hegemonic condition of the team of Ernesto Valverde, who does not know a definitive defeat in Cup since the final of Mestalla against Real Madrid in 2014, is opposed the illusion of the che club, which does not contemplate better cherry on the cake of its centenary than the that would be his eighth Cup title.
For Valverde, a triumph at Benito Villamarín would also provide the breathing space he needs to rebuild his project at Barça after the historic debacle against Liverpool at Anfield in the semi-final round of the Champions League. Things of the current football, a technician that adds so far four of the seven possible titles during his stage at the Camp Nou faces a plebiscite.
For all this, it could be said perfectly that the final of Seville is a duel of ambition che before the obligation culé that the dynamics of both teams in recent weeks have ended up equaling. And is that Barca is more than accustomed to these issues, not in vain this is his ninth final in eleven years. So much so that the Catalan team will not travel to the Andalusian capital until today, while Marcelino García Toral's Valencia has been concentrated for a couple of days at the facilities of the Montecastillo Golf Hotel in Jerez de la Frontera preparing the final.
Both technicians will have on the green of the Villamarín their gala onces, with the exception of Luis Suárez injured and with the alternative for their respective goalkeepers of the Cup, since as has been usual throughout the tournament, Jasper Cillessen and Jaume Doménech will defend the Barça and Che goals, respectively. Valverde will not have in the bench the titular goalkeeper in League and Champions, Marc-André Ter Stegen, since the German was injured this week and already said goodbye to the season a few days before the rest of the Barça squad.
Two tortuous roads
The paths of both teams until the great end of Seville have been very different in terms of the rivals that have been leaving the road, but come together in the fact of having touched the tragedy on occasion. For Barça, the Cup began with a tie against Cultural Leonesa with victory in the first half and a solvent win in the return, continued with the episode of the improper lineup of the canterano 'Chumi' in a visit to Levante that it ended with defeat and forced a comeback in the Camp Nou that was repeated in the quarterfinals against Sevilla after grazing the KO in the Sánchez Pizjuán with the substitutes and concluded with a 0-3 at the Santiago Bernabéu to eliminate a Real Madrid that had drawn a draw in the city of Barcelona.
For its part, the Valencia rubbed the ridiculous in the sixteenth against the Ebro, lost in eighths in his visit to Sporting at the most critical moment of Marcelino on the bench but solved the tie at the Mestalla, he came back in agony against Getafe in the quarters and He left Betis without an end at home.
It will be the fourth final in the history of both teams, with a 2-1 record in favor of Barça until now, as the Catalans prevailed over Valencia in 1952 (4-2) and in 1971 (4-3) and lost ( 0-3) in 1954 in the three previous finals, disputed all of them in the Santiago Bernabéu, before New Chamartín. A classic rivalry of Spanish football that even extended its reach to a continental final in 1962, in a two-leg eliminator of the FA Cup that was decided in favor of Valencia.
Sevilla will also host the final of the tournament for the fourth time in its history, as it debuted as the venue in 1925 with a Barcelona-Arenas de Guecho (2-0) played in the former Queen Victoria field and repeated in 1999 and 2001 already in the stadium of La Cartuja with a Valencia-Atlético de Madrid (3-0) and ZaragozaCelta (3-1). Thus, both culés and ches already know what it is to raise to the sky of the Andalusian capital a trophy which they now aspire to again, for the thirty-first time in the case of the Catalans and for the eighth time in the case of the Valencians.
Barcelona: Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Arthur, Messi and Coutinho.
Valencia: Jaume, Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gayà, Kondogbia, Parejo, Soler, Guedes, Rodrigo and Gameiro.
Referee: Undiano Mallenco (Navarro).
Time: 9:00 p.m. Benito Villamarín.
TV: The 1
(tagsToTranslate) murcielago (t) defies (t) cup