Today’s Copa del Rey draw has seen Barcelona and Real Madrid put on opposite sides of the bracket, setting up a possible final between the two biggest clubs in Spain.
Barca and Madrid – who will play in El Clasico Monday, Nov. 29 at Camp Nou – have not faced one another in a Copa final since 1990, when the Catalans took the trophy with a 2-0 win.
Madrid certainly appears to face the tougher road to the final. Should Jose Mourinho’s side get past Levante in the round of 16, city rival Atletico de Madrid or Espanyol await in the quarterfinals. Potential semifinal opponents include current top-5 sides Villarreal, Valencia and defending champion Sevilla, along with Malaga (managed by Manuel Pellegrini).
Barcelona, meanwhile, has been paired with Athletic Bilbao, the club it defeated in the 2009 final at the Mestalla in Valencia. The winner of that will see either Getafe or Real Betis. Barcelona and Getafe met in an epic semifinal in 2007, with Barcelona hosting and winning the first leg, 5-2 (including that goal from Lionel Messi) only for Getafe to win the return at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, 4-0, to advance to the final.
Possible semifinal opponents for Barcelona, should it get that far, are Deportivo la Coruna, Cordoba, Almeria and Mallorca.
Cordoba and Real Betis are the only Segunda sides remaining in the competition, with the other 14 coming from the top flight.
The Round of 16 matches will be played the week before Christmas and the week after New Year’s Day.
A – Valencia-Villarreal
B – Barcelona-Athletic
C – Cordoba-Deportivo
D – Betis-Getafe
E – Almeria-Mallorca
F – Sevilla-Malaga
G – Real Madrid-Levante
H – Atletico-Espanyol
Quarterfinals: 1) E vs. C 2) B vs. D 3) G vs. H 4) A vs. F
Semifinals: 4 vs. 3, 2 vs. 1