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Bizarre Cup Final Spring Awaits Bilbao

The Basques qualified for the last two Copa del Rey finals, which will be played within two weeks of each other next month.

Levante v Athletic de Bilbao - Spanish Copa del Rey
Iker Muniain of Athletic Bilbao celebrates victory last night in the Spanish Copa del Rey semi-final against Levante at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The bizarre scenarios thrown up by Covid....

Such has been the determination to complete each of the last two season’s Copa del Rey competitions and the need to cram them in somewhere in the hectic Spanish season, a scenario now exists where Athletic Bilbao must play two Copa finals within two weeks of each other.

Last season (2019/20) they reached the final where they were due to face Real Sociedad in a Basque Classico in Seville, before coronavirus halted the competition.

That 2020 final will now take place on April 3, Seville again the venue.

And last night, Bilbao defeated Levante 2-1 in this season’s semi-final. They will now meet Barcelona in the 2021 final also in Seville, only two weeks after they play the 2020 decider.
Athletic have won the competition 23 times, with their last success coming as far back as 1983-84 but could now win, or lose, two Copa del Rey finals in the space of two weeks.

Bilbao boss Marcelino was in charge of Valencia when they won the 2018-19 Copa del Rey and now could conceivably make it three-in-a-row by mid-April.

Barcelona booked their place in the 2020-21 final on Wednesday with a thrilling fightback as they overcame a two-goal first-leg deficit to beat Seville 3-0 after extra time at Camp Nou, to win 3-2 on aggregate.