8 may 2013

The Spanish Copa del Rey: Real Madrid – Atlético de Madrid

The official logo of
the Copa del Rey

Recently we talked about the Olympic Games in London 2012 and the "Clásico" Derby between Real Madrid and FCBarcelona. Now the time has come to talk about the unforgettable cup: The Copa del Rey of Spain.

Without any doubt, the Spanish “Copa del Rey” has a very special meaning to all Spanish football lovers. It is a tournament with a history of 103 years in that the teams qualify eliminating the other teams in order to get to the final. This year two historical arch-rivals will go head-to-head: Real Madrid against Atlético de Madrid. Both teams have recently added silver wear to their trophy cabinets as well as

making high profile signings.

The final will be on 17th May 2013 at 9.30pm. This year’s final can’t be more “Madrilian”, as both historical teams of Madrid will compete against each other in order to win the highlypopular “Copa del Rey” for their fans and themselves. Until now Real Madrid have won the cup 18 times whereas Atlético Madrid boast 9 “Copas del Rey” titles. This year's winner will enjoy Madrid bragging rights against their arch-rival for the whole summer.

Real Madrid – Atlético de Madrid: Eternal Rivalry

Atlético de Madrid VS. Real Madrid
Eternal Rivalry

It is 21 years since there has been an all Madrid Copa del Rey final. Both teams can look back on these years as being successful times not forgetting the occasional upset. Atlético Madrid had a disastrous 1999/2000 season culminating in their relegated to the “2ª División” (second tier of Spanish professional football). They did quickly bounce back and they have won the UEFA Europe League two times in the last few years. Real Madrid have celebrated three Champions League titles but can count with some bitter moments; they have not tasted Champions League glory now for over 10 years and not to mention their defeat to Depotivo La Coruña in the 2002 Copa del Rey final held in their home stadium - not exactly a glowing tribute to their centenary year celebrations!  

Atlético Madrid 3 – Real Madrid 1

No, this is not our score prediction! It is worth mentioning that in 103 years history of the “Copa del Rey” there have just been four Madrid derby finals. Three times the so called “colchoneros” (as the fans and players of Atlético Madrid are called) triumphed over the club “merengue” (as Real Madrid is often called). Every final of the both Madrid teams was also hold in Madrid, just like this year. Three of the games were played in Real Madrid's home the Santiago Bernabeu, and just one in Atlético Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium. Ironically, Real Madrid only won the one final played in the Vicente Calderon and Atlético won the other three games celebrated in the Santiago Bernabeu - so it would seem the expression “home advantage” looses all its meaning when it comes to the Copa del Rey final history.

The choice of the stadium of the “Copa del Rey” Final

The Santiago Bernabeu stadium-
the place of the final game

The choice of the stadium always causes a lot of charged discussions. The Spanish football association leaves it to the both final teams to choose the final stadium. So, every year there are negotiations as every team wants to play in their own stadium and in front of their home crowd.

This year the "negotiations" were not that problematic. Two facts have eased the choice of the stadium of the Copa del Rey final: first, the Santiago Bernabeu has more capacities (more than 85.000 spectators). Second, until now Atlético won every Copa del Rey final in the Santiago Bernabeu. All in all both teams are satisfied: Real Madrid has its home ground and Atlético Madrid is playing in the stadium which has been their lucky charm in Copa del Rey finals.

Real Madrid:  The strong favourite?

Real Madrid VS Atlético de Madrid
Who will win?

Regarding the upcoming Copa del Rey final, Real Madrid is considered the big favourite as Atlético Madrid has not won a single match against Real Madrid for the last 14 years. Furthermore, both teams recently played against each other in the Spanish league with Real Madrid winning comfortably in spite of resting many key "A" team players. So even more reason for Atlético to be fired up and to seek revenge. Also, Real Madrid will be playing on the back of their Champions League semi-final defeat and many are expecting Jose Mourniho to be leaving the club after the match. All in all we are sure to see an exciting final.

Do you already have your favourite team for the Copa del Rey final? We definitely do and in AIL Madrid there is fierce rivalry between the supporters of the two teams.

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