Spanish Cup 2024 Final

The 2024 Spanish Cup offers a rare chance of glory for two teams out of the Liga big three this April, as Athletic Club take on Mallorca on April 6. On offer is not just a trophy, but the chance to qualify for next season’s Europa League. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming final.

What is the Spanish Cup?

The preliminary rounds began in September as 120 teams were whittled down to 110, before the first round took 55 teams out of contention, and the knockouts continued in single-match format until the two-legged semi-finals in February.

The final takes place in Seville in early April, in the first silverware on offer for Spanish teams.

When will the Final Be Played?

  • Venue: Estadio de la Cartuja
  • Date: Saturday, April 6
  • Kick-off time: 16:00 UK time / 17:00 CET / 11:00 ET

Key Players – Impactful Figures on the Pitch:

Athletic Club

  • Nico Williams – The young Athletic winger is wanted by some of the biggest teams in the world, with Chelsea, Liverpool and others all linked with the 21-year-old Spanish international who is on course, perhaps, to crack double figures for the first time in his career. 
  • Inaki Williams – Eight years older than his brother, the striker has 11 goals already and is in perhaps his best goals scoring form of his career. The imposing forward leads the line for the Basques.

Mallorca

  • Vedat Muriqi – The 29-year-old Kosovan international might not be scoring with quite the same frequency as last season for Mallorca , but standing at 6’ 4″, almost two metres tall, he is a physical presence regardless.
  • Antonio Raillo – Central defender Raillo might struggle with discipline at times, having been sent off eight times in his career already, but the experienced 32-year-old is vital for his side’s backline as Mallorca’s captain.

Athletic’s Road to the Final:

Athletic Club had an easy time of it in the earlier rounds, but they came up against Barcelona in the quarters. They got off to the best possible start in the first minute through Gorka Guruzeta’s strike, but Robert Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal then scored to put the Catalans ahead. Oihan Sancet equalised just after the start of the second half, before the Williams brothers both struck in extra time to secure a 4-2 win.

Their semi-final against Atletico Madrid was as impressive as it was important, as ALejandro Berengue’s first-leg penalty gave them an advantage ahead of the home leg, before Inaki and Nico Williams scored once more, and Gurutzeta scored after the hour mark to make it 4-0 on aggregate.

Mallorca’s Road to the Final:

Mallorca drew 0-0 at home in their semi-final with Real Sociedad, but they were able to hold on for a 1-1 draw away from home before clinching a 5-4 penalty shootout victory.

Their quarter-final was a similarly exacting tie. While they were three up in the first half after Cyle Larin’s opener was followed by an Abdon Prats brace, Raillo saw red again. Cristhian Stuani struck from the spot before Savio’s injury-time second led to some serves for the remaining 10 players.

Where Will the Spanish Cup Final Be Played?

The final will be played in the afternoon in Seville on Saturday, April 6, at the Estadio de la Cartuja.

The stadium, perhaps surprisingly, has not become the home for either of the local sides, Sevilla and Real Betis. Instead, the multi-purpose stadium that was completed for the 1999 world athletics championships has hosted some major occasions. The 2003 Celtic vs. Porto UEFA Cup saw Jose Mourinho lift a trophy, and it has hosted the Spanish men’s national team 12 times already, as well as the women’s national team twice in 2024 alone.

Tactical Analysis – Strategies Unveiled:

Athletic Bilbao under Ernesto Valverde have shown pragmatism and flexibility. Valverde has at times employed 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 in recent seasons and is content to play to their attacking strengths when the opposition allows. Against tougher opponents, they are prepared to sit back and absorb pressure to look for the counterattack. Given the importance of a cup final, it could go either way for their approach.

Javier Aguirre is not a noted tactician but the Mexican adeptly employed a 5-4-1 approach at Real Madrid this year, and used both lines of midfield and defence to crowd out their opponents.

Roll of Honour of the Cup:

Athletic Club have the second-highest trophies in the tournament’s history, having lifted the cup 21 times.

Barcelona lead the way on 31 Copa del Rey trophies. Real Madrid follow Athletic on 20, with Atletico Madrid claiming 10 titles, and Valencia eight.

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