The Copa del Rey is experiencing one of its most complicated and exciting final stretches since its format change. The heavyweights have reached the penultimate round of the KO tournament and the draw in Las Rozas’ Ciudad del Fútbol has seen four high-flying clashes. Real Madrid-Athletic, Osasuna-Seville, Valencia-Athletic and Barcelona-Real Sociedad. These duels are a single match, there are no second chances and it is next week (from January 24 to 26). The winners remain one step away from the grand final on May 6 in La Cartuja.
Several of Spain’s greats are already tired of seeing them knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the first opportunity in recent years. One of them is Real Madrid, who have not played or won this tournament for almost ten years. So He had to resort to the epic comeback in the round of 16, something that seems to be intrinsically in his DNA, to turn the draw against Villarreal and go from 2-0 to 2-3, putting him on his feet stay. But no matter how well he knows how to come back, it won’t be easy for him. As fate would have it, he will face Atlético next week at the Santiago Bernabéu. The rojiblancos will face the reinforcement of Memphis Depay and they are aware that the Cup is their main asset to win a title this season after staying out of Europe and a long way from the battle for LaLiga. Up to 42 times there was a Madrid derby in the Copa del Rey, with a balance of 17 wins for the whites, 11 for the rojiblancos and fourteen draws. The last time was in the round of 16 of the 2014–15 season, when the tie was two-legged and Atlético triumphed, beating 2–0 at Calderón and drawing at Bernabéu.
The Barcelonawhoever has the most trophies in his display cases and who comes by beating Ceuta by five goals gets one of the fittest teams. Real Sociedad travel to the Camp Nou to take on a Barca side they have beaten just three times in 31 Cup games. Second, the cup faces Valencia and Athletictwo clubs that have a special feeling about this tournament, although the lions have been struggling lately.
SNo doubt everyone sees Osasuna as the most affordable rival. But we should not despise the rojillos, who have more than earned the title of revelation team in Spanish football this season. Arrasate’s are flirting with the European posts. But not only with the Conference or Europa League. They are one point away from the Champions League! To this we should add that Osasuna knocked out the current cup champions in the round of 16 and knocked out Betis on penalties. Now they have another set from the Andalusian capital. Sampaoli’s Seville will have to visit El Sadar. The people of Seville are doing it at a critical time and suffering in the league where they are in the relegation zone.
From all qualifications they add 99 Copas del Rey, but the real ‘king’ of this competition is Barcelona, with 31 titles. Athletic are next in the list of winners, having won 31, but they have not won this title since 1984. Real Madrid is in third position with 19, followed by Atlético (10), Valencia (8), Sevilla (5) and Real Society (3). Osasuna is the only one who has not become a champion in the cup and still dreams of achieving the feat in this edition.
Barcelona-Real Sociedad (Wednesday 25-1, 21:00)
Osasuna-Seville (Wednesday 25-1, 22:00)
Valencia-Athletic (Thursday 26-1, 20:00)
Real Madrid – Atlético (Thursday 26-1, 21:00)
Dates of the Copa del Rey
Rooms: 24, 25 and 26 January
first leg semi-final: February 8th
return from semifinals: March 1
Last: 6 May