Real Madrid players wanted Barcelona in the semi-finals
According to AS sources, Solari’s squad felt they had more chances of beating their eternal rivals over two legs.
Real Madrid got Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey in Friday’s draw, meaning they’ll play them over two legs (Wednesday 6 February at the Camp Nou and Wednesday 27 February at the Bernabéu).
Given the hectic fixture schedule facing both clubs many had felt it would be better for the two to face either Valencia or Betis, the two other clubs in the semi-finals, at this stage and if both got through have the Cup Clásico in the final, on 25 May at the Benito Villamarín.
However, according to this newspaper’s sources, Real Madrid’s players are far happier about facing Barcelona in the semi-finals rather than in the final. That’s because Solari’s men believe they have more chances of beating Barça over two legs. What’s more the fact Madrid will be playing at home in the second leg gives them confidence that no matter what happens in the first leg they’ll be able to do what is necessary with their home support behind them in the return fixture to go through.
Having struggled for much of the season, the Real Madrid players now feel that they have hit a streak of form that will be good enough to give them every chance of seeing off Barcelona this coming month to claim a place in the final. Overall the feeling in the Real Madrid dressing room after Friday’s draw is one of cautious optimism about facing their eternal rivals…