Last week the final of Spain’s Copa del Rey was decided with FC Barcelona set to face Sevilla on the 21st or 22nd of May should Sevilla progress to the Europa League final for the third year in a row. As always the venue for the final has caused controversy.
Both Sevilla and Barcelona would like the final to be played in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu. However, Real Madrid do not want to see this happen due the possibility of their bitter rivals Barcelona winning a cup in their back garden. In 1997 Barcelona beat Real Betis 3-2 in the Bernabeu and celebrated the victory by blaring the clubs anthem over the stadium speakers a number of times.
The final is usually held in a neutral venue and with its 81,044 capacity the Santiago Bernabeu is the obvious option for this years final. Last year the Bernabeu was unavailable for the final as it was undergoing renovations. This season Bruce Springsteen has come to Real’s rescue.‘The Boss’ has a concert scheduled at the Bernabeu on the same date of the Copa del Rey final. As a result either Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon or Valencia’s Mestalla stadium will host this years showpiece of Spanish football.
The drama between Real and Barca never seems to stop and unfortunately it will impact the number of spectators who can watch the final. The Vicente Calderon can only hold 54,000 spectators and the Mestalla holds 55,000.Even La Liga president Javier Tebas (a Real fan) has stated he would like the final to take place in the Bernabeu but it seems as if his wish won’t come true.