Valencia and Barcelona in Copa del Rey final with different mentalities
Barcelona's head coach Ernesto Valverde reacts during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg soccer match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona in Liverpool, Britain, May 7, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/PETER POWELL
Valencia CF head coach, Marcelino Garcia Toral, during a team’s training session at the club’s sports complex in Valencia, Spain, May 8, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Manuel Bruque
By Sergio Morro
Valencia, May 23 (efe-epa).- Valencia and Barcelona are heading to the Copa del Rey final with different mentalities.
Valencia seeks to cap off a great season, while Barcelona needs a win to make up for the UEFA Champions League defeat.
Valencia has achieved its goal of the season by securing a Champions League place with a 2-0 away win over Valladolid last week when La Liga reached its conclusion.
According to coach Marcelino García, winning the Copa del Rey final would be a “distinction of honor.”
Despite sealing La Liga title, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde's future was in doubt after the side was beaten 4-0 in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final by Liverpool at the Anfield, losing 4-3 on aggregate.
The win meant that the English side has qualified for the final of Europe's elite club competition.
Barcelona’s president Jordi Bertomeu recently put an end to the rumors that the coach will be sacked and said Valverde will remain at the club.
Marcelino, whose post was also in jeopardy in December, has met the expectations of Valencia’s sporting director Mateu Alemany and managed to take the club to the fourth spot in La Liga with 61 points.
Marcelino could make history in Valencia’s centenary year if he ends the club’s 11-year trophy drought with a Copa del Rey win.
A victory in the domestic championship would mark Marcelino’s first title in his coaching career that started when he took charge of CD Lealtad in the 1997-98 season.
The Spanish coach moved to Sporting Gijon, Recreativo de Huelva, Racing Santander, Real Zaragoza, Sevilla, Villarreal and eventually Valencia.
Among his greatest achievements were earning Recreativo, Zaragoza and Villarreal first division promotion, and a UEFA Europa League qualification with Racing and Villarreal.
Marcelino also gained a Champions League qualification with Villarreal and with Valencia twice.
For Valverde, winning the Copa del Rey final would mean completing a second consecutive domestic double with Barcelona and increasing his coaching career titles to 11. EFE