There are finals that the history books have remembered by their own name. 1929's 'Final del Agua' ('Water Final') in the Copa del Rey, for example, on account of the heavy rain that day. Or 1968's 'Final de las Botellas' ('Bottles Final'), because so many were thrown onto the Bernabéu pitch by angry Real Madrid fans, leading glass containers to be banned at stadiums. In England, the FA Cup's 1953 showpiece was named the 'Matthews Final' because of the skilful outside right's wing wizardry. Saturday's Copa decider, meanwhile, will, I'm sure, forever be called the 'Iniesta Final'. His superb display, allied with the sense of sorrow at his imminent departure, has left an indelible mark on the occasion; it's palpable whoever you talk to.
'Iniesta Final' saw maestro lift the cup. As for the LaLiga trophy...
To top it off, Iniesta is captain; so he got to lift the cup. Now, with the LaLiga title about to follow, many are asking whether we'll see him collect that trophy too, breaking with the tradition of not handing it over until the start of the following season. There are two reasons why that's the drill. Firstly, because a league campaign can reach its final round of fixtures with the destination of the title still undecided, and LaLiga only have one trophy to present. (It is loaned to the winners, who then return it a year later. They only get to keep it if they win it three times in a row, or after every fifth triumph.) Secondly - and this is excessively cautious - the result of a match isn't official until the deadline to appeal it has passed.
I see no reason why Iniesta can't say goodbye by lifting LaLiga trophy
Such precautions are over the top, from a bygone era. The latter eventuality hasn't happened once. As for the former, there are now so many copies floating around that it's hardly a stretch of the imagination to think more than one could be made available for 'D Day'. And anyway, as far as this year goes, it's clear Barcelona will be champions come final day. So what better plan than to give it to Barça then, on 20 May, when they host Real Sociedad in Iniesta's farewell? The RFEF presidential elections are on the 17th. Yesterday I spoke to the candidates, Juan Luis Larrea and Luis Rubiales, and both are in favour of the presentation taking place against La Real. If you ask me, there's no reason why Iniesta can't say goodbye LaLiga trophy in hand.