It’s always a big occasion when these two clubs lock horns, especially when it’s a cup final. Historically this fixture has arguably provided football fans with more exhilaration than any other match in Spain and the game between the two sides always lives up to the expectations.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have already met twice this season and on both occasions the match has ended in favour of the Catalans. However things might turn out to be different this time around with Barcelona on a disappointing run which has seen them loose both of their last two matches.
The second Clasico of 2014: The Copa del Rey Final will be played at the neutral ground of the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain.
The Spanish Cup Final - El Clasico - will air on April 16th, 2014 at 3PM EST / 12 noon PST. The match will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN (english), ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio (spanish). You can also tune into the match online in both English and Spanish languages on WatchESPN (authenticated users only).
El Clasico always attracts global attention due to the intense Spanish rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. This match is even more signficant since Barcelona have just recently been kicked out of the UEFA Champions League and have very likely just seen their La Liga title hopes slip away with their most recent loss this past weekend, leaving them in third place behind Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. This might be Barca's only chance at silverware this season as well as Carlo Ancelotti's first chance for silverware with Los Blancos. The world will be watching. See broadcast details below for US television, radio and online coverage of El Clasico 2014, the second of the year:
ESPN NETWORKS : SPANISH CUP FINAL 2014 TV PROGRAMMING
English Language Programming:
ESPN Copa del Rey Final Coverage: (Check ESPN Listings)
Spanish Language Programming:
ESPN Deportes Copa del Rey Final coverage: (Check ESPN Deportes Listings)
Season falling apart for Barcelona
After being tactically outclassed in the second leg of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderón, Barcelona suffered another heart-ache as Yacine Brahimi’s solitary goal of the match subjected the Blaugrana to their second successive loss on Saturday against Granada.
In the course of the two matches, Barcelona have been knocked out of the Champions League a competition they have fared well in recently having made it to the semi-finals in each of the last six seasons.
Unlike ahead of the first Clasico of the year 2014, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not in top form. Leo has gone missing lately while CR7 is out injured. So which players will leave a mark on the game?
Two stars under pressure to perform are Neymar and Gareth Bale. Both completely rocked the 2013 summer transfer window and are expected to justify their astronomical price tags. Indeed, the stage has been set for Neymar and Bale to strengthen their rivalry and overshadow, at least for a day, the mouth-watering Messi-Ronaldo clash which cannot take place in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.
FC Barcelona’s 2013/14 pre-season campaign was tarnished with tax fraud allegations against Lionel Messi. As if it wasn’t enough, the mighty Spanish club was then accused of transfer fraud concerning Neymar’s move away from Santos. The intensity of this transfer issue led to the resignation of Sandro Rosell as club president in January.
Problems continue to hurt Barca under new president Bartomeu. On Wednesday, the Catalans were slapped with a two-transfer window ban for “illegal buying and selling of players under 18” according to FIFA.
However, Barcelona vice president Javier Faus is certain that “enemies” are behind all the controversies to fall down the club.
Speaking to the Spanish press on Thursday, Faus boldly declared:
Preview: Barcelona are 90 minutes away from meeting Real Madrid in the final
A 2-0 victory over Sociedad in the first match was far better than Barcelona's performance. The Catalans were not at their best, and it was very clear in the second half.
Martinez was sent off in the 44th minute, and Barcelona played the entire second half with a man advantage. In normal circumstances, the Blaugrana would have put the game beyond any doubt, but a strange own goal was all they had to show for that second half.
Sociedad will now welcome the La Liga leaders to Anoeta, where they have been impressive as of late.
Preview: An uphill task for Spanish Cup champions Atletico
Almost there. Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane are about to experience their first ever Copa del Rey final as managers at Real Madrid. However, as much as upsets happen in football, the Spanish giants remain cautious ahead of Tuesday night’s encounter on the turf of their city rivals.
Atletico Madrid surprisingly conceded three goals without reply at the Santiago Bernabeu last week. This 3-0 first leg defeat requires Diego Simeone to be very smart this time round. What is worse for the Copa del Rey defending champions is that they will be without Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born striker picked up a booking and must now serve suspension.
Preview: Barcelona should be motivated to bounce back
Real Sociedad will head into the Camp Nou facing a difficult challenge. The Txuri-Urdin are coming off a four goal thumping at the Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid, with put the Madrid side at the top of the La Liga table.
The hosts will be equally frustrated on Wednesday, after their disappointing performance at the weekend.
Playing at home is normally a very good chance for the Blaugrana to win, but Valencia had other ideas. Los Che scored three goals, more than any other team has scored at the Camp Nou this season, and defeated Tata Martino's squad.
Preview: Revenge mission – Ronaldo's Real to fail or succeed?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is making a lot of rounds in the media today – not only because he is celebrating his 29th birthday, but because the verdict following his dissmissal against Athletic Bilbao on Matchday 22 of La Liga has fallen. CR7 has been slapped with a three-match ban but it only applies in the league.
Coincidentally, Ronaldo’s penultimate sending off happened at the Santiago Bernabeu against Atletico Madrid; that was in the Copa del Rey final, last season. This Wednesday, the visitors and their traveling fans might do all they can to provoke Ronaldo in their favour. While the Ballon d’Or winner’s temper is set to be tested once more, his desire to make up for his moment of madness at San Mames could work out in Real Madrid’s favour.
Preview: With a three goal lead, Barcelona have good chances to progress
The first match at the Ciutat de Valencia was kind to the Blaugrana, as they came away with a 1-4 victory. Levante now has to travel to the Camp Nou, where they will have to overcome that first leg defeat. Joaquin Caparros' squad have a difficult task ahead of them, especially playing away form home.
After their president stepped down, many expected Barcelona to struggle, but that has not been the case. The Catalans have won twice in a row, and a victory on Wednesday night could make it three wins in a matter of seven days.
Preview: A perfect end to January for Ronaldo and Real?
In the 2013/14 Copa del Rey, only one team is yet to concede a goal. This team is Real Madrid. If the Spanish giants maintain this record on Tuesday, they will make it into the semi-finals.
Ten times this season, Cristiano Ronaldo has netted Real Madrid’s opening goal in a game. The La Liga topscorer possesses amazing goalscoring stats but luck hasn’t favoured him much in the Copa del Rey where he remains with a single strike against Osasuna, a shot crashing against the post and a failed overhead kick attempt at the Cornella-El Prat.
Preview: Barcelona will be out to avenge their 1-1 draw from the weekend
The Blaugrana were not all that impressive in their latest match against Levante, but they will be looking to change that. Fortunately for Tata Martino's squad, Atletico Madrid was able to drop points at home, which allows Barcelona to remain top of La Liga.
On Wednesday, both sides will go head to head once again, in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Being able to take on an opponent that you just drew will give both sides a chance to prove their true value. For Barcelona, they will want to show their doubters that mishaps will occur, while Levante will be out to prove that the draw at the weekend was not coincidental.
Preview: Real Madrid favourites to clinch first-leg advantage
Los Blancos will be confident of triumphing following their 1-0 win at the Cornella El-Prat on Matchday 19 of La Liga. Pepe’s solid header in the second half of the game denied the Catalonia-based club’s impressive defensive setup.
One player who will want to redeem himself is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese attacker had a night to forget in his last game against Espanyol.
Fresh from being made a ‘Grand Officer of the Order of Prince Henry’ in Lisbon by Portugal’s government on Monday, the Ballon d’Or titleholder will be keen to increase his goal tally in the Copa del Rey. As of now, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the topscorer with 4 goals. Ronaldo only has one.
Preview: Tata Martino wants to avoid any surprises
Barcelona take a comfortable lead with them into the second leg match against Getafe, but Tata Martino is not convinced that the hosts have given up. In 2007, the won 5-2 in the first leg, only to allow Getafe to win 4-0 in the return leg, eventually eliminating the Blaugrana.
"We have never hidden behind the result of a previous match," Martino told the club's official website. "We will play as if the result was at 0-0."
Getafe will be up against a very difficult task. Not only will they need to overturn a four goal deficit, but their current run of form will not give them any added motivation.
Preview: Golden goals for golden boy Cristiano?
Real Madrid’s camp is buzzing with euphoria following Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or triumph on Monday. Los Blancos will want to keep the fire burning by reaching the Copa del Rey quarter-finals at Osasuna’s expense.
They carry an advantage – not only because of their size on paper but because of their first leg victory at the Santiago Bernabeu. Jese Rodriguez and Karim Benzema’s goals were enough to separate the two teams at the end of the day as Iker Casillas kept a clean sheet.
However, Carlo Ancelotti prefers to be cautious.
Preview: Spectacle guaranteed at the Bernabeu with Bale & Ronaldo?
Game on! The much hyped duel between CR7 and La Pulga has been reignited. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo 2-2 Lionel Messi in 2014. “What you can do, I can do better” seems to be the rule of the game between these two superstar footballers since years now.
The Portuguese winger commenced the year in style with two late goals against Celta Vigo which he dedicated to the late Eusebio. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, marked his long-awaited return to action with a magnificent brace against Getafe on Wednesday night.
Preview: Messi's return will steal all the headlines
Lionel Messi's return has been long awaited by Barcelona's fans, and they could likely see his return on Wednesday. A Copa del Rey fixture at home would be a perfect opportunity for the Argentine to get some competitive minutes under his belt, just before a very important La Liga match at the weekend against Atletico Madrid.
But before the Catalans can worry about Atletico, they will need to get by a Getafe squad that they defeated 5-2 on December 22.
Tata Martino's squad were down 2-0 after 14 minutes in that match, but luckily a hat-trick from Pedro, and a brace from Cesc Fabregas helped Barcelona earn three points.
Preview: Neymar out to continue his fine form
The Brazilian international was Barcelona's big name signing this summer, and he took some time to get accustomed to European Football. With Messi alongside him, many expected Neymar to flourish, but it has been without the Argentine on the pitch that he has really started to show his talent.
After Messi went down with an injury, Barcelona struggled, having lost against Ajax in Amsterdam and lost against Athletic Bilbao.
Preview: Tata Martino will want his players to put in a solid performance, after two straight defeats
Having lost to Ajax in Amsterdam, and then against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mamés, Barcelona has not enjoyed their last few weeks. On Friday, they will get a chance to set things straight, although their opposition may not provide much of a test.
The Blaugrana will be up against a Cartagena side that is currently in Segunda Division B, which is two leagues beneath La Liga.
A lopsided victory is expected for Tata Martino's squad, but what if they do not actually beat the hosts comfortably? How will the fans, players, manager and the press react to that?
Miami Beach, Florida (May 15, 2013) -- The Spanish capital will be set ablaze on Friday as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid combat to succeed Barcelona as 2013 Copa del Rey champions. Ahead of this Spanish cup final fixture, LiveSoccerTV.com helps you with live TV listings. Find where to watch Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid live at 15:30 EST / 19:30 GMT / 21:30 CET on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Atletico Madrid’s history against their rich city neighbours is terrible. They have not beaten Los Blancos in 14 years. However, history is on their side ahead of Friday’s showdown. In 1992, the Copa del Rey final was played at the Santiago Bernabeu between the same teams. Atletico beat the odds to upset Real Madrid 2-0. Paulo Futre and Bernd Schuster did the damage with a goal each.