Real Madrid v. Barcelona
Copa del Rey final
Estadio de Mestalla
Wed April 16th, 2014 @ 21.30
Referee: Mateu Lahoz
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Diego López, Jesús
Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Carvajal, Coentrão, Nacho, Llorente
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Illarra, Isco, Bale, Casemiro, Modric, Di María
Forwards: Benzema, Morata, Willian José
Two players will be discarded before kick-off. Neither Marcelo nor Ronaldo made it back but both they and the rest of the injured (pending doctors' permission for Jesé) will travel to Valencia tomorrow.
Willian José (22) followed in his countryman Casemiro's footsteps and was signed from Santos this winter, on loan to Castilla for the rest of the season. In the summer the club will decided whether to make the transfer permanent, but so far Willian has done his bit to impress - since his arrival in January he's made 8 appearances, scored a hat trick against 6th placed Recreativo Huelva and been sent off. Twice. So he should fit right in.
Diego Llorente (20) joined Real Madrid at the age of 9 and was given his first team debut by Mou in the last game of last season, at home against Osasuna. After spending last season with Real Madrid C he has established himself as a pillar of Diaz' Castilla side this season. He's by trade a center back, but he has showed his skill at right back in the first half of the season and it is as such Carlo has called him up.
Iker and Carlo did the pre-match presser today.
Carlo (via AS): “To win this final we'll need courage and personality", said Carlo Ancelotti in his pre-match press conference before the final of the Copa del Rey, that his side will face Barcelona in.
Iker (also via AS): Talisman in finals: “Everyone wants to win, not just me. The side have had a great Copa campaign and it would be the icing on the cake. It won't be easy, it will be a vibrant game, with great players and we are confident that we can win and in our way of playing. We believe that we can do it".
You uploaded the picture of the Virgin onto social media - divine intervention?:
Cristiano's absence: “It's not just Cristiano, but all the players who aren't available: Jesé, Arbeloa, Marcelo, Cris... But it's not worth thinking about those who can't play, we must think about those who can and those who the boss thinks are capable of winning the title".
Who are the favourites?: "Personally I'm not buying into Barcelona's last week, despite the defeats. Things are different for both sides, and anything can happen in a final. Now they have two competitions, one complicated and one final where they can win the title. We are on a good run and we are trying to get back into the fight for the league. We will forget the past and concentrate on tomorrow".
Decisive saves in 2011: “In a final you always are remembered more for the game and the saves. They weren't sensational saves, but they were at the end and I helped the side win the trophy. Hopefully tomorrow the joy will be shared and everyone will be protagonists and Real Madrid will win".
Mateu Lahoz: "I've always like him, he's a good referee".
Messi: “I'm, not going to worry about how Messi is. His side will worry, and I will worry about my side. We won't think about who isn't there, but who is. This will motivate us, not how our opponents are".
The side has slipped up in big games:: “The side is ready. Maybe we didn't have good results against big sides but in the league you play 19 sides. In the cup you can only eliminate what's in front of you. The side is solid. If you're on a good run, the side has confidence, and that's how we are".
Busquets' stamp and Xavi's comments: “As I said the other day, I'm leaving the circus. What someone says, another person says, a programme here, a programme there... I don't want to enter into any more games, debate, arguing. It is football, and we are focused on tomorrow".
Two Clásico defeats in the league:"We want to win. We can't look back. It's a different game. We have to try and win tomorrow for the fans. Fight, run, battle... Whatever it takes to win".
¡A la Cibeles, nos vamos a la Cibeles! (knocks on wood)