x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Barcelona or Real Madrid? Copa del Rey result too close to call

A clasico in the final usually means drama, writes Andy Mitten.

Madrid celebrate beating Barca in the 2011 final. Andres Kudacki / AFP
Madrid celebrate beating Barca in the 2011 final. Andres Kudacki / AFP

Spain’s big two have met six times in the Copa del Rey final. Here is how those games turned out:

1936 at Valencia

Real Madrid 2, Barcelona 1

After 33 previous cup finals, Barca and Madrid finally met a month before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. It is remembered for a save by legendary goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, who, in his final game for the club, dived to his bottom-left corner to stop a shot from Barca’s star player, Josep Escola. Zamora played for the Catalans in the 1920s.

1968 at Bernabeu, Madrid

Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 0

The venue was selected before the teams reached the final, which Barca won thanks to a ridiculous own goal. Madrid’s supporters were furious at the referee and launched hundreds of bottles onto the pitch. It led directly to bottles being banned inside Spanish football stadiums and is known as the “bottles final.” Asked for his memories of the game, Madrid’s centre-back Ignacio Zoco simply said, “bad”.

1974 at Calderon, Madrid

Real Madrid 4, Barcelona 0

Barca beat Madrid 5-0 in February 1974, with Johan Cruyff (soon after turning down Madrid), playing in his first game for Barca in the Bernabeu, where he scored once and set up three goals in the rout. Madridistas refer to it as “the Black Night”, and Cruyff as the best month in his life. Three months later, a vengeful Madrid beat Barca 4-0 in the cup final.

1983 at Zaragoza

Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 1

Diego Maradona ran onto a 60-yard pass by Bernd Schuster, stopped it, throwing his two markers, then rolled the ball to set up Barca’s opening goal for Victor Munoz. Santillana equalised for Madrid before Marcos got a winner for Barcelona, prompting the German Schuster to celebrate with a rude gesture. Catalans loved it, while Madrid accused him of incitement.

1990 at Valencia

Barcelona 2, Real Madrid 0

Schuster was the only returnee from the 1983 match – only this time, he played for Madrid. The game was spoiled when Madrid’s Fernando Hierro was sent off in the first half. Schuster smelled injustice and accused the referee of taking a bribe. During their lap of honour, Barca goalkeeper (and current sporting director) Andoni Zubizarreta was felled by an object thrown from the crowd.

2011 at Valencia

Real Madrid 1, Barcelona 0 (extra time)

Madrid’s first trophy under manager Jose Mourinho, their first in four years, came as four clasicos were held in an 18-day period full of anger, recrimination and bile delivered from fans, players and coaches. That is exactly how Mourinho wanted it, in an attempt to unnerve manager Pep Guardiola’s brilliant Barca. Cristiano Ronaldo headed in to decide the tie.

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