Real Madrid’s celebration plans if they win the Copa del Rey
Real Madrid and Osasuna head to Seville for Saturday’s Copa del Rey final but there will be no celebrations in the capital if Los Blancos prevail.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid have reached a pivotal point of the campaign. This weekend, they will be travelling south to Seville for the Copa del Rey final - with Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna standing in the way of Los Blancos adding another piece of silverware to this season’s haul, which so far includes the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
When the season got underway back in August, Madrid were in the privileged position of competing in six competitions. After missing out on the Spanish Super Cup back in January and with LaLiga now out of reach, Ancelotti’s men head into May fighting on two fronts and still in which a chance of a cup quadruple. That would still be quite an achievement as it would match the club’s best season on record - in 2016/17, Madrid lifted the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, LaLiga (No.33) and the Champions League (no.12).
Fixtures pile up
As Ancelotti noted just a few weeks ago: “If [Madrid] win the Copa del Rey, this group will have won everything there is to win. Some clubs don’t even manage that in their lifetime...” That would include Saturday’s opponents Osasuna who, apart from being champions of the second and third tier leagues in years gone by, have no major trophies in their honours list. The Rojillos will be playing in just their second final in club history at La Cartuja - for Madrid, it will be their fourth final this season...
For obvious reasons, Madrid are the clear favourites (with the bookies, Madrid weigh in at -303, Osasuna at +850) but they have been surprised by the underdogs before - notably in 2004 when they were in an almost identical position, only for their treble ambitions to be shattered by Zaragoza in the Copa and Monaco in Europe).
Madrid’s main problem on this occasion is a build-up of key games in a congested calendar. Ancelotti’s team play the Copa del Rey final on Saturday night (kick-off at 22:00 hours local time - 4 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. PDT), then will play the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester City just three days later. In other words, Sunday will be dedicated to recovery and Monday spent preparing for the City game - just one training session plus the pre-game press conferences.
No official gathering at Cibeles if Madrid win
However they get on against Osasuna this weekend, Madrid know that they won’t arrive back home until the early hours of Sunday morning. Traditionally, Real Madrid celebrate all of their major triumphs with the fans at the Cibeles fountain - but that won’t be happening if they win this year’s Copa del Rey. They simply don’t have time. If they successfully beat Osasuna on Saturday, celebrations will be put on hold for another date.
Government spokesperson Inmaculada Sanz explained in today’s press briefing, “Even if Real Madrid win the Cup, the club has informed us that there will be no official celebration that night (Saturday) or the following day, because the club is involved in the Champions League and has important games coming up”.