Valencia vs Barcelona: The game of the decade

It has been 10 years since Valencia last reached a cup final in the Copa del Rey, the very same competition that they will be hoping to return to the final of when they face Barcelona on Thursday evening.

The fixture is being billed as the most important for a decade, far more important than the Champions League qualifications that the club did achieve during the good times under Unai Emery.

Other than that, it has been a time of crisis at the Estadio Mestalla, but now things are changing.

Their opposition could have been an easier side; Barcelona have been the team to beat them in their last two semi-finals, humiliating Los Che during Gary Neville’s reign.

Whilst this game may mean the world to Valencia, it is just another tournament for Barcelona, and just a routine cup semi-final.

It has been 10 years since Valencia last reached a cup final in the Copa del Rey, the very same competition that they will be hoping to return to the final of when they face Barcelona on Thursday evening.

The fixture is being billed as the most important for a decade, far more important than the Champions League qualifications that the club did achieve during the good times under Unai Emery.

Other than that, it has been a time of crisis at the Estadio Mestalla, but now things are changing.

Their opposition could have been an easier side; Barcelona have been the team to beat them in their last two semi-finals, humiliating Los Che during Gary Neville’s reign.

Whilst this game may mean the world to Valencia, it is just another tournament for Barcelona, and just a routine cup semi-final.

With a rested Messi

For Barcelona, it is a chance to reach a remarkable fifth consecutive Copa del Rey final as the team remain desperate for more success in a competition they have dominated for years.

“The past is the past and now we have to write the future,” Ernesto Valverde explained, discussing the chances of becoming the first team since 1933 to win the competition four times in a row.

In fact, if they achieve it they would only the third team ever, after Real Madrid from 1905 to 1908 and Athletic Club between 1930 and 1933.

That is the aim for Barcelona and they are coming into the tie off the back of a challenging Catalan derby, though Valverde did have the chance to rest Lionel Messi, with the star man only playing half an hour.

Valverde will also recall his two first choice full-backs, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto, after they were rested to preserve the crucial role that they play in his system.

The players know that one of Spain’s most hostile atmospheres will be awaiting them at Mestalla and that it will only increase with so much to play for.

Only three months ago, referees refused to give a clear goal in this fixture in the league, and the fans are aware of what referees could do to make life harder.

One yellow card away from a ban for the final if they win, Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez must be careful.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s