Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Barca target second leg of treble in home Cup final

29 May 2015, 09:20

Madrid - Barcelona can move another step closer to just the second treble in the club's storied 115-year history when they host Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

It is the third meeting between the two sides in the final in the past seven years with Barca emerging victorious on their way to their first treble in 2009 and in Pep Guardiola's final match as Barca coach in 2012.

Saturday will also see the Camp Nou say goodbye to another club legend as Xavi Hernandez plays his final game on home soil before his farewell in the Champions League final against Juventus on June 6.

"We are very proud to have won La Liga and now comes the Cup final, which although it seems like a minor trophy, matters just as much to us as the Champions League final," said Barca defender Gerard Pique.

"It is another title in the club's museum and here at Barca we only know how to win."

Pique's return to his best form over the past six months has been key to Barca's run of 29 wins in 33 games that has left them on the brink of glory in all competitions this season.

Barca conceded just 21 goals in 38 La Liga matches and have improved markedly on set-pieces under Luis Enrique this campaign.

However, he understands why his displays have been overshadowed by the stunning form of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, who have combined for 117 goals between them.

"When you win people always look to the strikers and when you lose to the defenders, goalkeeper and coach," added the Spanish international.

"This happens in all the big clubs and is normal. We have three of the best players in the world up front, they understand each other perfectly and are playing marvellously."

 'Not invincible'

In contrast to Barca's treble chase, Athletic are searching for their first major trophy in 21 years since doing the league and Cup double in 1983/84.

The Basques have already suffered at the hands of Messi this season as he played a part in all five of Barca's goals in a 5-2 thrashing at San Mames in February.

However, Ernesto Valverde's men improved significantly from a disappointing first half of the campaign to ensure qualification for next season's Europa League and go into the final on an unbeaten seven-match run.

"Barcelona aren't invincible," insisted Athletic starlet Inaki Williams.

"We deserve a victory. We are going to give them a very hard game."

Also read: Wenger, Arsenal eye FA Cup history

Barca received a huge boost with the news that Suarez will be fit to start having not featured since the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich due to a hamstring problem.

Oscar de Marcos is suspended for Athletic so Andoni Iraola will start at right-back on his farewell after 12 years and nearly 500 appearances.

Long-term injury absentees Iker Muniain and Ander Iturraspe also miss out for Athletic.

And Barcelona-target Aymeric Laporte believes overcoming the pre-match nerves will key for Valverde's men with Athletic fans expected to fill more than half of the 99,000 seats at the Camp Nou.

"We must know how to overcome the pressure and the nerves. We know that Barcelona is a very good team and we have to think about what we have to do to play well.

"There is so much talent in their team we have to be vigilant to every move."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...