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Copa del Rey final at Betis: a worthy venue


Here is one of the benefits that Luis Rubiales has brought to Spanish football since he became president of the Federation: this year we will not talk until the last minute about where the  Copa del Rey final will be played.

I like that Rubiales has cut off this source of bad blood between the clubs. Before any arguments start, it has already been decided that the final will be played at the Betis' Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville, a good stadium, built in 1929, that has been renovated on several occasions. Most recently it was thoroughly renovated in accordance with the plans of local architect Antonio González Cordón, who unfortunately passed away last summer at the height of his creative force.

This old-new stadium is well worthy of the honour of hosting the Copa del Rey final. And Spanish football deserves to know that its cup final has a dignified and pleasant venue, before the fights and attempts at opportunism have a chance to begin.

It will be just the fourth final in the city of Seville, which is too few in my opinion. The first was in 1925, in the Campo de la Victoria, next to the Paseo de la Palmera, on the left bank of the Guadalquivir river, one kilometre downstream from the Torre del Oro. It was won that year by Barça of Platko, Samitier and Alcántara, who beat the old and never-forgotten Basque club Arenas de Getxo, now found in Second Division B.

Then there were two more in 1999 and 2001, won by Valencia and Zaragoza respectively, and both of which were played at the Estadio de la Cartuja, a work of enormous futility, built for athletics World Championships in 1999.

Now the final returns to Seville, without ill feeling or debts to be paid, as I imagine was the case in 1925. And for this, I congratulate Rubiales.