The final of the annual football cup competition for Spanish football team, Copa del Rey, is just around the corner!
This year finalists are Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. The third final of Copa del Rey that these same two teams played in just five years.A classic in this cup and the two most successful teams in the competition, the FC Barcelona with 26 titles and Athletic Club with 23 Copas del Rey.
As Barcelona won the 2014-15 La Liga, Athletic qualifies automatically as the cup representative in the 2015 Supercopa de Espana. The Spanish football Federation announced that this year the Copa del Rey final will be held at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on May 30 at 21:30.
The competition was founded in 1903, thus making it the oldest Spanish football competition. This will be the 112th edition of the cup. Typically, the winner of Copa del Rey goes to the UEFA Europa League; but if the winner also qualifies for UEFA Champions League, then the losing finalist goes into the Europa League. The current holders are Real Madrid, who won their 19th Copa del Rey against FC Barcelona at the 2014 Copa del Rey Final held at the Mestalla.
Barcelona has previously played 36 Copa del Rey Finals. This was bettered only by Real Madrid with 39 games. However, Barcelona has won the cup on the most occasions, with 26 wins. Their most recent appearance in the final was last year, in which they lost 1–2 to Real Madrid at Mestalla in Valencia. Their latest win was in 2012. They beat Athletic Bilbao 3–0 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid.
So far Athletic Bilbao has played in 35 finals and has won 23 times. Barcelona is the only team with more victories. Athletic Bilbao’s most recent final was in 2012, and their latest victory in the competition was in 1984, beating Barcelona 1–0 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid.
This year’s finalists of Copa del Rey have played against each other in seven previous finals of the tournament. Barcelona won 1920, 1942, 1853, 2009 and 2012, and Athletic Bilbao won in 1932 and 1984.
Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona played agains each other twice during the 2014-2015 La Liga season. At Camp Nou on 13 September 2014, Barcelona won 2–0 with two goals which were scored by Neymar in the last 11 minutes of the game. On 8 February 2015 at Athletic Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium, Barcelona won 2–5. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez gave them a 0–2 half-time lead. Four goals were scored between the 59th and 66th minutes: Mikel Rico scored for Athletic, Óscar de Marcos caused an own goal, Neymar achieved a fourth for Barcelona and Aritz Aduriz a second for Athletic. After that Xabier Etxeita was sent off for the hosts and Pedro netted a fifth for the visitors.
We are therefore looking towards one of the most beautiful football games that can be witnessed between two historical clubs of Spanish soccer that Barcelona will host on May 30 at the Camp Nou.
It will be an interesting game to watch! Do not miss it!