Lost in a desert crossing that lasts too long and it is not clear where it leads, two lost teams dream that they have found the right path and spot an oasis that in Seville. In the Island of La Cartuja tonight Barcelona and Athletic Club they will dispute the final of the Super Cup (21 hours Let's go) to heal their wounds. The oasis does not admit water for both. Only one can quench his thirst after a penance of months. Both need a triumph that in other circumstances would seem minor, but that today is mana in the desert. Until arriving here, players, technicians and presidents of both entities have fallen along the way. All those crises can be forgotten if the ball goes in tonight. The Super Cup is not a title to justify a government work, but it can fix it in times of lack. And the two finalists need that award that is awarded today in Seville (follow the game live on As.com).
Let's start with Barcelona, whose journey through the desert began precisely a year ago in Saudi Arabia, when he fell in the Super Cup against him Athletic. At that time the team of Valverde was the leader of The league, but he lost that semifinal and from there a series of catastrophic misfortunes ensued in which Barça, faced with the bad or worse decision, always opted for the bad one. From that Super Cup He went to look for Setién after Xavi said no, with Pochettino they did not dare and Koeman could not. The desert crossing that began in Arabia lived its critical moment in Lisbon with 2-8 and the attempt to leave Messi's caravan. Now, exhausted, injured and thirsty, the Barcelona fans see a well in Seville where they can regain strength.
Pride and Athletic. On the opposite path that leads to the oasis, Athletic also arrives having suffered their own. He is still hoping to play a Cup final (in which he eliminated Barcelona to get there, by the way) that must have been historic against the Real society, but first he must play the Super Cup.
He reaches this final conscious of his problems, but with repaired pride. He has left Real Madrid in the gutter in the semifinal against all odds and has reason to believe that the oasis can be his. Marcelino failed against Barça in his debut, but He had been in office for 48 hours and Messi made the party bitter. Today, it will weigh more that it was the coach who beat Barça in the last Cup final (precisely, in Seville) than his record against the Barcelona fans, who by the way, are pending on Messi.
The participation of the Argentine, Athletic's hammer so many times, in the game is a mystery that, as he said Koeman, Leo himself will solve at the last minute, but the Lions will not take away the illusion of giving a second stroke.
In fact, Barcelona reaches the final more by the work and grace of Ter Stegen than for something else. After a cardiac semifinal against Real Sociedad, it was the German who decided the Blaugrana fate with a fabulous performance. Assuming that Messi will be on the bench, more as a threat or as a recourse to desperation than anything else, the line-up expected by Koeman will be very similar to the one that beat Real Sociedad. The only novelty would be the return of Sergiño Dest to the right back instead of Mingueza.
At Athletic Club, the doubts lie more in the players' ability to recover than in the idea of the game. Marcelino relieved after verifying that Muniain's withdrawal in the semifinal was the result of a muscular ramp and that the captain will be on the field of play, the only doubt in Athletic's eleven is to see if Vesga returns to the starting position to the detriment of Dani García. The rest, the same as against Real Madrid with the addition that Wiliams against Barça sees the goal larger than against any other opponent.
And all, pending of Messi, the guide who knows the shortest way to the oasis that both teams hope to find after their journey through the desert.