Copa del Rey

Athletic Bilbao could win Copa del Rey twice in two weeks

Copa specialists Athletic Bilbao will have the chance to lift win the 2020 and 2021 trophies against Real Sociedad and Barcelona in consecutive finals.

Marcelino hails history making Athletic Bilbao as they prepare for two Copa del Rey finals in 14 days

Athletic Bilbao have the chance to make history after beating Levante in the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Thursday with the Lions contesting two finals in the space of a fortnight against Real Sociedad and Barcelona.

Athletic saw off Levante 2-1 in extra time and 3-2 on aggregate to set up a showdown with LaLiga giants Barcelona in the Copa del Rey decider next month.

Spanish Super Cup champions after upstaging Barça in January, Athletic reached last season's Copa final but, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, they are yet to play it – the match against their rivals Real Sociedad set for April 3.

Athletic are now gearing up for two finals in the space of 14 days next month, with a clash against Barça scheduled for April 17.

Marcelino: "This only happens once in a lifetime"

"These players have made Athletic Club history and sometimes that only happens once in a lifetime," Athletic head coach Marcelino said. "They had to make the most of the moment and they did so."

Alex Berenguer's deflected, extra-time winner sealed Athletic's progress to back-to-back finals and saw them equal Real Madrid on 39 appearances in Copa del Rey deciders.

It completed a turnaround for the 23-time Copa winners, with Raúl García's penalty having cancelled out Roger Marti's opener.

"We are going to take it step by step and enjoy today at least," García added. "I am very happy because of all the work behind this and hopefully it will be a historic year. It's an honour to fight alongside this group of friends.

"We have a lot of confidence in each other, always help each other and that's what is giving us the results."

Athletic and Barça will play their ninth Copa final – the most-contested fixture in the competition's history. Athletic will also become in the first team to play two Copa del Rey deciders in the same month.