The Basque derby, climax of the Cup of surprises

Luis Rubiales propelled a change of format in the Copa del Rey, which, once reached the grand final, has dazzled most of the fans in Spain. The two survivors play in the First Division, yes, but the Mirandés, Second, has not walked away from giving the bell. Further, Real Sociedad and Athletic don't even play European competitions this season. All Europeans stayed on the road: the Real Madrid fell in front of the Real; the Barça, before Athletic; the Athletic, in Leon; the Valencia, against Granada … Before all of Second B said goodbye, but if the road is the goal, this KO tournament has not left anyone indifferent. Real Jaén made history, the Second teams touched the debacle against the lower category, several Second B gave the mash in height duels and football left images to remember. Now everyone is eliminated, although they can be satisfied with what has been a historical participation for them. The Cup will travel to the Basque Country in an unforgettable Cup.

Basque Derby in La Cartuja

Despite the huge rivalry and history of both teams, the duel between Athletic Club de Bilbao and Real Sociedad will be an unprecedented final. On April 18 La Cartuja de Sevilla will host the two Basques for the title cup. Both have made more than enough merits to be at the top, after eliminating the two colossi of Spanish football and being constant throughout the tournament. Those of Garitano clearly eliminated Intercity and Sestao and pulled the penalties to overthrow Elche Y Tenerife. Against him Barça, a Williams goal in the discount led them to glory. The Pomegranate He also succumbed. La Real, meanwhile, thrashed Calf Y Ceuta and he suffered neither against Spanish not in front of Osasuna. He reached 1-4 against Madrid, although a white final arreón pressed the duel. Surprisingly, the Mirandés, of lower category, is the one that more obstacles put him in the way.

The Mirandés of the time of Pablo Infante

One of the objectives of the new Cup was, why not, that the Mirandés deed happen again in the 2011-12 season. Precisely, it is the same club that has been closest to tie that great story. He has not had the same merit, since at that time he played in Second B. It all started as many others have done: as third category team It is measured with a club that plays European competitions. Before, I had already eliminated Amorebieta, Balompédica Linense and Logroñés. In sixteenths it was time for the truth. And they succeeded: they overthrew the Villarreal and then they would do it with him Racing and the Spanish. In the semifinals, the Athletic He put an end to the dream and warned them at the gates of the final. Even so, it was an unforgettable year, which ended with the promotion to LaLiga SmartBank. This campaign, those of Iraola have been overthrown by the Royal Society, again staying at the gates of glory.

The Mirandés starred in one of the greatest achievements of the Copa del Rey in recent years. / FÉLIX ORDOÑEZ (REUTERS)

The great protagonist of that unlikely story was Pablo Infante. The attacker was the top scorer of that Cup with six goals and aroused the interest of everyone in football, as he combined his work on the pitch with his profession in a bank. Once retired, he decided to oppose one of the vacant administrative positions in the Mobility service of the City of Burgos. Perhaps it was even harder to be the best score of the 560 applicants than their historic Cup. With the current format, of course, more images like yours will be seen again for years to come. However, Carlos Pouso, coach at that time, detracted from what was achieved in an AS interview: “Of success you should not die“.

The end of the modest adventure

The round of 16 put in place five of the six modest who endured with the best, who showed Luis Rubiales that, if the goal of the new format was to give excitement and make each round a football party, it was not at all wrong. Real Madrid represented the exception, with a win against Real Zaragoza (0-4). The Villarreal, although he won 0-2, he did not get ahead until the final stretch in Vallecas. They needed the penalties on Valencia and the Athletic, who defeated in vibrant matches to Leonese Cultural Y Tenerife respectively. He did not reach the fateful batch, but resorted to the extension the Pomegranate before a surprising Badajoz. The Real showed that she was a candidate to reach high against Osasuna, as did Barcelona with Leganés. The great stir waited until the last minute, with the Mirandés giving the bell against Sevilla.

The 'Culturalazo', most popular surprise

The round of 16 was redemption ground for Second Division teams and enjoyment phase for Second B survivors. Only six of LaLiga SmartBank arrived, but refused to say goodbye. The Girona could not stand up to Villarreal (0-3). The Elche it also fell, although the Athletic He needed the penalty shoot to achieve it (1-1). They booked a ticket fully deserved on Saragossa (3-1 to Mallorca), the Mirandés (2-1 to Celtic), the Lightning (won Betis in the batch) and the Tenerife (2-1 to Valladolid). In a way, they amended all the evil that their classmates had done and far exceeded their success with respect to last season. Only the Sporting He was in the round of 16 in the 2018-19 Cup, against all four of the current season.

But the whole media focus was on the First Division clubs and, especially, the four exempted so far: Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Atlético and Valencia. Whites suffered before the illusion of Unionists and of the Tracks of the Helmántico; as it happened with Barça, with a goal from Griezmann on the horn to overthrow the Ibiza. None imposed its status as a world power: Valencia won by the minimum UD Logroñés and Atlético went through the back door in what is already known as'Culturelazo'. The Kingdom of León dressed in his best clothes and the players responded as appropriate. Correa beat his own in 62 minutes, but his opponent did not give up and tied the contest ten at the end. In the extension, Sergio Benito evidenced the athletic deficiencies and was the architect of a deed to remember.

It was not the only surprise: Badajoz blushed at Eibar (3-1) and was one of the representatives of the resistance of the Second B. Others fell, the vast majority in fact, but also presented battle. It is the case of Recreational (2-3 in front of Osasuna), the Ebro (0-1 before the Leganés) or the Badalona (1-3 against Granada). In the two clashes between First teams, the Seville defeated the I raised and the Real society did the same with him Spanish..

The first round, a torment for the Second

The draw for the first round of Copa del Rey had important conditions: the winners of the previous territorial, the best of Regional last season, were framed with ten of First. None of them achieved the feat, although they fought with pundonor. The Andorra de Piqué, without going any further, took the penalties to Leganés. The Antoniano succumbed to Betis (0-4), El Palmar put Getafe (1-2) on the ropes, the Melilla He had no choice against Levante (0-5) or The Alamo he had Mallorca in trouble (0-1). There is more: the Intercity fell against Athletic (0-3); the Peña Azagresa, before Celta (0-2); the Toulouse, with Valladolid (0-3); or the Quotation marks in you to you with Villarreal (0-5). The biggest win was enjoyed by the Royal Society (0-8) in their duel against the Calfbut had a great gesture with his rival and invited him to the Reale Arena to expenses paid.

Of the rest of First teams, only the Alavés fell eliminated. It was a historic milestone, since in the 21st century no Third club had managed to overthrow a First. In addition, he did it flatly (3-1). Beyond that, the remaining five did not fall into the trap: Sevilla eliminated the Brig (0-1); Espanyol at Lleida (0-2); Osasuna, at Lorca Sporty (0-3); Eibar, to the SD Logroñés (0-5); and the Granada, 2-3 a L'Hospitalet. Having seen the results, it seems that the Copa del Rey format had hardly been worth it, since the greats, except for the specific case of Alavés, were not surprised and advanced with a firm step. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of LaLiga SmartBank starred in a carousel of poor results, that some solved with troubles, but many others signed their sentence of elimination.

To get an idea, only Deportivo, Las Palmas, Elche and Tenerife won with relative tranquility. They achieved the classification with more troubles the Huesca, Girona, Albacete, Ponferradina, Cádiz, Mirandés, Fuenlabrada, Zaragoza or Rayo. Some of them needed extensions or others resolved their qualifiers with goals on the horn. There are nine to name, all eliminated before the illusion of their rivals, always of lesser importance. They passed the Portugalete (goodbye to Extremadura), the Cacereño (Alcorcón), the Zamora (Sporting), the Broom (Malaga), the Murcia (Racing), the Ceuta (Numancia), the Badalona (Oviedo), the Sestao River (Lugo) and the Tamaraceite (Almeria). Reflection time for them, who had fallen from the Copa del Rey at the expense of clubs that, a priori, have no elite level. A debacle that warned, unsuccessfully, the 13 survivors: each game is a world.

Second round: Getafe catastrophe and more goodbye to the Second

A total of 28 teams arrived in the Soccer City of Las Rozas between Second B and Third, before the massive elimination of LaLiga SmartBank in the previous round. The draw, again with conditioners, did not face any humble among themselves. To access sixteenths with the best, it was their turn to hit the spot. It was not a utopia, far from it. The Second Division clubs, again, left a poor image and fell more eliminated than those who got into the next round. Cádiz, Ponferradina, Albacete, Las Palmas, Huesca Y Fuenlabrada said goodbye, leaving the participation of the category of silver in the hands of Saragossa, of the Mirandés, of the Tenerife, of the Elche and of Girona.

First teams, even with suffering, advanced in most cases. In fact, only one gave the jarring note: the Getafe. Bordalás paid to play with ten players and gave in to a historic Badalona (2-0). While the Bordalás were the only ones to fall, many others asked for the time. The Majorca he won with trouble Zamora (1-0); to Osasuna the same thing happened to him Haro Deportivo; the Valladolid he needed the penalties against the Marbella; or Pomegranate Y Villarreal were imposed by the minimum to Tamaraceite Y Orihuela. Something more comfortable were the Leganés, the Betis, the Spanish, the Celtic, the Real society or the Seville. More bad drinks: Eibar in Cáceres or that of I raised, who needed the penalties to knock out a fighter Real Jaén.

The territorial preview never seen

One of the main novelties of the new format of the Copa del Rey was the opportunity for all those teams that last season they dominated Regional. There was no place for the 20, who had to face each other for ten first-round tickets. They would rival a First, but the matter transcended a hypothetical future elimination. The most modest clubs across the national scene were in the KO tournament. A year ago some did not even know what it was like to compete in Tercera and, suddenly, faces would be seen with Sevilla, Betis, Getafe or Villarreal on duty.

Everyone had a story to tell, despite not having even a thousand followers on social networks. What's more, the Calf, one of them, represents the town of Becerril de Campos, with a total of 754 inhabitants. From unthinkable to reality. The Barquereño, for example, celebrated the rise in a van or the collection of bingo Azagra went to the Peña Azagresa. This is humble football too: El Palmar was robbed of all sports equipment two days before the match against Ceuta. Now, definitely and except for the Mirandés case, the KO tournament is once again owned by the best, not before leaving anecdotes, photographs, cold afternoons, flares, improvised press areas without Wi-Fi and much more … This is the new Cup that has arrived to stay and promises to catch television year after year. Soccer, much more than 22 players kicking a ball. The Basque derby of the final will be a great demonstration.