Olímpic de Xátiva, which plays in the third tier of the mazy Spanish system, beat Laudio on penalties (8-7!) in the last round of the Copa del Rey to make it to Week 6 of the competition. In the most recent draw, Olímpic found out its next opponent would be Real Madrid. And they went understandably bonkers.
The greatest part? You can hear club president Alfonso Rus audibly squeal in the background as the tie was announced. Magic of the cup. Vamos Olímpic.
On May 20, Mestalla Stadium, home of Valencia C.F., turned 90 years-old. While the stadium may not be one of the most well known or glamorous, it is nonetheless an important one. First opened in 1923, the original capacity was 17,000, but quickly expanded to 25,000. Today, the stadium holds 55,000, is the fifth-largest in Spain and is considered to have one of the most feared stadium atmospheres in all of Europe. With the steep and towering seats, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Being 90 years-old, the stadium has a long and storied history, having been through the Spanish Civil War and the flood of 1957, among other things. It hosted all of Spain’s games during the 1982 World Cup (used to be the national team’s home stadium) and the Copa del Rey final in 2011.
Read about the atmosphere and see more pics after the jump
For the first time since 1999, Atletico Madrid beat their hometown rivals Real Madrid. The victory couldn’t have come at a better time as Atletico won their fifth title in three years. (Copa del Rey ’13, UEFA Europa League Cup ’09/’10 & ’11/’12, UEFA Super Cup ’10 & ’12) Along with the video above, here are some facts about the Madrid derby.
-There have been a total of 260 official matches played between Atletico and Real with Real winning 141 times and Atletico winning 63 times.
-The first match was played February 28, 1905 to a 1-1 draw.
-14 times the final score has been 2-1.
-The last time Atletico won a derby (before this past Friday) was October 30, 1999.
-Atletico and Real have met in the Copa del Rey final five times. Atletico have won four of them (1960, 1961, 1992, 2013) with Real only winning one (1975).
-15 players have played for both Atletico and Real (Juanfran Torres, Reyes, Mista, García Clavo, Jurado, Pablo García, Solari, Jaro, Esnáider, Raúl Gonzáles, Caminero, Schuster, Hugo Sánchez, Juanito, Paco Llorente)
Barcelona right back [I am using that term loosely] Dani Alves scored on a thrilling shot in Wednesday’s Copa Del Rey Quarterfinal against Real Madrid.
Alves’ goal shortly before half time gave Barca the 2-0 lead. Madrid stormed back in the second half to level the game at two a piece, but Barca advanced 4-3 on aggregate. The Brazilian defender’s strike was the most scintillating moment of the clash, and it is only appropriate to let the incomparable Ray Hudson deliver the call with gusto.
“Look at the technique again – he takes the spin of the ball into account. He takes the planets in the solar system into account as well. That is an impossible strike.”
Well there you go, if you want to make ‘impossible’ shots, you need to make sure the planets align – or something of that ilk – I slept through my astronomy classes in college. The more prudent question is: What did Iker Casillas ever do to you, Dani Alves?
Yes, it’s happening again. The two adversaries will square off at the Bernabeu in Madrid on Wednesday for the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Barcelona will host the second match at Camp Nou on January 25. Barca has won 11 of the previous 12 matches between the two clubs. These two games will make it nine total meetings between the two teams in nine months, and Madrid’s only victory was in last season’s Copa del Rey Final. Barcelona won the previous two-leg Spanish Super Cup on 5-4 aggregate back in August.
Real Madrid will be without Alvaro Arbeloa and Sami Khedira and Barcelona will be without the injured Pedro Hernandez, Seydou Keita, and David Villa. Watching these two teams play always makes for beautiful soccer. The matches are never short of drama and controversy.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos held a tight grip on the Copa del Rey trophy today when the trophy officially was presented to the fans in Madrid.
Ramos dropped the 33-pound cup under the front tire of the open-top bus containing the celebrating Madrid players last month, requiring it to be repaired ahead of Wednesday’s ceremony at Madrid City Hall.
Ramos addressed the crowd and said:
“Thank you very much for all being here with us. Don’t worry, the cup’s secure, it won’t fall.”
Ramos tweeted after the incident:
“The whole thing about the cup was a misunderstanding, it didn’t fall … it jumped off when it reached Cibeles [the fountain in Madrid where the team celebrates its titles] and saw so many Madrid fans.”
Whatever you say Sergio, but maybe you should borrow some goalie gloves from Iker Casillas to get a better grip on the trophy.
Click through the jump to see the ceremony (It’s in Spanish)