BARCELONA – Barcelona and Athletic will play this Saturday in Seville the ninth Cup final face to face in their history, becoming the most repeated, and what it will mean if Barça is the winner to regain the scepter they lost in 2019 at the hands of Valencia and for Athletic to end a drought that has lasted since in 1984, precisely against the Barça team, they won their last trophy in this competition.
It will also be an appointment with history for Messi, Busquets and Piqué, who could reach the record of individual titles equaling two rival legends and break with a jinx that has accompanied the Barça club in Seville since 1925, when they won the only final disputed in the Andalusian city.
These are ten facts to better understand the Cup final … and the tournament itself.
1.- Barça, King of Cups; Real Madrid, of misfortune
The Barça club is the great dominator of the competition, with a total record of 30 Cup trophies from the first one it won in 1910 to the last one in 2018. It is also the team that played the most consecutive finals (six between 2014 and 2019) , Seville will be its final number 43, of which it lost only 12. On the other side of the scale is Real Madrid, winner of 19 titles (the last in 2014) … but who lost 20 finals of the 39 disputed .
2.- Zarra-Zubizarreta, record numbers
Telmo Zarra, the legendary Athletic striker who won five titles between 1940 and 1955, remains the top scorer of the tournament, scoring 81 goals in 74 games, and is also the only one to score four goals in a final, which he won, in 1950, Athletic defeated Valladolid 4-1. Andoni Zubizarreta, for his part, is the player with the most Cup games played: 104 between 1981 and 1998. The goal, champion in 1984 with Athletic and in 1988 and 1990 with Barça, divided his matches between the Basque team (46 ), Barça (32) and Valencia (26).
3.- Daucik, the most successful coach
Czech Ferdinand Daucik holds the record as the coach who won the Cup the most times, adding six titles that were distributed between Barcelona (1951, 1952 and 1953), Athletic (1955 and 1956) and Zaragoza (1966). Behind is the Englishman Fred Pentland who, leading Athletic, won the title five times (1923, 1930,
1931, 1932 and 1933) and Luis Aragonés closes the podium with four trophies won at the helm of Atlético de Madrid (1976, 1985 and 1991) and Barcelona (1988). Ronald Koeman and Marcelino García Toral aspire to achieve their second title, after achieving it both leading Valencia. The Dutchman in 2008 and the Asturian in 2019.
4.- The most winners
José María Belauste and Piru Gainza, both from Athletic Bilbao, are the two footballers who have won the most Cup titles with 7 trophies. The first got them in 1914, 1915, 1916, 1920, 1921, 1923 and 1924; the second in 1943, 1944, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1956 and 1958. Behind, champions six times, the Barcelona fans Messi, Busquets and Piqué, who were left with honey on their lips after losing the final, try to equal the record. 2019 against Valencia.
5.- The most finalists
Four players hold the record for the most finals played … That this Sunday will be only two. Nine times they played the final match Piru Gaínza with Athletic de Bilbao (1943, 1944, 1945, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1958), Bernd Schuster with Barcelona (1981, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1988), Real Madrid (1989 and 1990) and Atlético de Madrid (1991 and 1992) and Sergio Busquets and Leo Messi with Barcelona (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). These last two will play their tenth final this Saturday.
6.- The most repeated final
Saturday’s duel will make Barça and Athletic the most repeated protagonists in a final, with nine clashes. The previous eight were settled with six Barça victories (1920, 1942, 1953, 2009, 2012 and 2015) by two rojiblancas (1932 and 1984). In this way they will surpass the eight finals that the lions played against Real Madrid.
7.- 14 champions … and winners finalists
The 117 Cup titles are shared by 14 different clubs. The 30 trophies achieved by Barça are followed by Athletic with 23, Real Madrid with 19, Atlético de Madrid 10, Valencia 8, Zaragoza 6, Sevilla 5, Espanyol and Real Unión de Irún 4, Real Sociedad 3, Betis and Deportivo de La Coruña 2 and Mallorca and Arenas de Getxo one. On the other side of the scale, the three finals that Celta played, and lost, stand out in 1948, 1994 and 2001. Equally unfortunate is Valencia, the only club that lost three consecutive finals … And twice. First between 1944 and 1946 and then between 1970 and 1972.
8.- Repeated champions
Real Madrid, Athletic de Bilbao and Barcelona are, in addition to the only clubs that have never been relegated to the Second Division in LaLiga, the only ones to link four Cup titles in a row. Athletic was the first to achieve it, winning the finals from 1905 to 1908 in a row; Real Madrid did it between 1930 and 1933 and, finally, Barça won their four consecutive titles between 2015 and 2018. The Barça team lost a year later, in 2019, the chance to be the first to win five finals in a row by being defeated by Valencia.
9.- A ‘family’ final
Real Madrid has the honor of being the only club that has starred in a final without an outside rival. It was in 1980 and they faced Castilla (at that time the subsidiary teams did take part in the tournament).
Castilla, who played in the 2nd Division, was the great surprise of the Cup, eliminating consecutively Athletic, Real Sociedad and Sporting de Gijón, although in the final they had no option after being thrashed 6-1. In that merengue subsidiary, Agustín, Castañeda, Gallego, Pineda or Cidón stood out, who during their career stood out in the First Division, Ricardo Gallego above all being historical in Madrid.
10.- Seville, Cursed city
For Barcelona, playing a final in Seville is a real drama, having lost three and only won one, the first in 1925. That initial one, which will be 96 years old, was beaten 2-0 by Arenas de Getxo at the former Reina Victoria Stadium. . From there he lost the remaining three and each one in a different scenario.
In 2019 he was defeated in the Cup final by Valencia (1-2) at Benito Villamarín; Barely three months ago, Athletic beat him in extra time (2-3) in the Spanish Super Cup held at the La Cartuja stadium … But, without a doubt, the most painful of all was that of 1986 at the Sánchez Pizjuán, where the Barça team was defeated in the penalty shoot-out (the duel ended 0-0) by Steaua de Bucharest in the final of the European Cup.
Athletic, meanwhile, has played two finals in Seville, both in La Cartuja and this year. He beat Barça in the Super Cup and lost the 2020 Cup final against Real Sociedad.