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Seville will always be a cursed place for Barça due to the defeat in the final of the 1986 European Cup against Steaua de Bucharest in a story that has already been told a thousand times. But it was not always like this. In 1925, the Catalans raised the Cup in the defunct Campo de la Reina Victoria (1918-1928). They won 2-0 at Arenas de Getxo with goals from the great Samitier and Sancho. The hero was Platzko, the goalkeeper who Alberti immortalized with his ode. The Hungarian saved Urresti a penalty. Upon their return to Barcelona, the fans prepared the first great mass reception for the club in its history at the Passeig de Gracia stop.
There the love story of Barça with Seville ended. In 1986, and after heroically eliminating Goteborg on penalties in the semifinals after raising a 3-0, the fans, who traveled by land, sea and air to Andalusia, were disappointed in their lives. The European Cup resisted. Some culés left half a heart in Sánchez Pizjuán. A historical frustration that the fans will never recover from but that, in part, could be mitigated in 2019. Two years ago, Barça crashed again in Seville, this time in Heliópolis. Marcelino’s Valencia won the Cup final at Benito Villamarín and lengthened Barça’s curse in Hispalis. Barça will play its fourth final in Seville today at the fourth stadium. This time, it will be at La Cartuja.
It is the first time, however, that Athletic has played a single match final in Seville. It should have premiered last April against Real Sociedad, but the final was postponed due to the pandemic.
Barça and Athletic have met in eight Cup finals in a single match. The Catalans, kings of the Cup two decades ago, won six. Athletic only won those of 1932 and 1984. Both by 1-0. One, in Chamartín, with a goal from Bata. That of 1984, decided by a goal by Endika is in the history books, by the pitched battle that was organized at the end of the game and that precipitated Maradona’s goodbye. Barça has won the other six, with Messi’s special prominence in the modern era. He scored in the finals of 20009, 2012 and 2015.
It is the fourth Super Cup between Athletic and Barça. The only one the rojiblancos won was with Valverde on the bench (2015) … A divided heart tonight. Or maybe not.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.