Barca hit back from a 2-0 first leg deficit and thrashed Sevilla 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the last four of the Copa for the ninth year in a row.
“If we are at our level we will go through,” Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said. “We will prepare the tie as though it was two finals. Madrid always competes for everything, it is a great rival.”
Real Madrid extended their 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions with a 3-1 win over Girona on Thursday to progress to the semifinals 7-3 on aggregate.
“This is one of the best games that can be seen around the world nowadays,” Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said during Friday’s draw in Seville. “It’s going to be a great tie.”
“There’s nothing like playing in a Clasico. It’s thrilling and more so, if you have the fortune to play for a final. We are talking about two teams that have a lot of resources and extraordinary players. We expect two intense and even games. “We trust our players and we will see what happens.”
This will be the twentieth Copa del Rey tie between the two bitter rivals and the balance so far is very even: Real Madrid have triumphed 10 times to nine for Barcelona. Taking finals out of the equation (seven of them), each side has gone through six times.
In total the Copa del Rey has thrown up 33 Clásicos: 12 matches won by Real Madrid, 14 by Barcelona and seven draws. In total the Bernabéu-based outfit have scored 64 goals to 63 from Barça.
The last meeting between the sides was the final of 2014, when Real Madrid won in the Mestalla, with Gareth Bale’s supreme sprint down the touchline a sweet memory for every Madridista.
This is the sixth semi-final in which the two sides have met. Barcelona have gone through twice, Real Madrid four times, two of those the last two times the sides met. The last semi-final between the two was in 2013, when Real Madrid triumphed only to be beaten at the hands of Atlético in extra-time in the Bernabéu.
The first meeting in the Copa, then called the Copa del Rey Alfonso XIII was in 1916, also in the semi-finals. Barcelona won the first leg 2-1, Madrid (who hadn’t been given the Real moniker at that point) the return 4-1, but under the rules of the time the tie was a draw (one win each, with goals not counting) meaning a replay was called for, which finished 6-6, meaning ANOTHER replay was called for, which Real Madrid won 4-2 to go through to the final. Likely exhausted from all that they lost against Athletic Bilbao 4-0.
In the 12 times they’ve faced each other before the final the winner of the tie has gone on to lift the trophy on eight occasions.
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