Ernesto Valverde: 'Winning Copa del Rey an obligation for Barcelona'


While his former side have reached the Champions League semi-finals, Barcelona are looking to complete a domestic league and cup double after crashing out of Europe's top competition at the quarter-finals stage to Roma.

"We can't think about anything other than the final", Sevilla midfielder Pablo Sarabia said. Sevilla also held the mighty Bayern Munich to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the Champions League at the Allianz Arena.

Valverde could snatch up his first trophy as Barcelona boss with a win over struggling Sevilla on Saturday as the two Spanish sides meet in the Copa Del Rey final.

The Andalusian are now placed 7 in the La Liga table and already missing out from Europe competition means they will not be wearing their five stars gold badge as the only team to have won the Europa Cup five times. Barcelona now sits pretty at the top of the La Liga table, 12 points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with five games left in the campaign and they are anything but crowned champions of Spain.

"Barcelona are a great team, as we have seen in La Liga", Montella, who joined Sevilla in December replacing Eduardo Berizzo told reporters.

La Blaugrana head into the final as favorites to win their CDR as well, for a fourth successive time in a row against Sevilla, who are winless in their last seven games.

Rakitic looked fully involved as he trained alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho for what is likely to be a closely fought match against Sevilla.

Piqué, Sergio, Iniesta and Messi are the four players that have the most Cup final appearances in Club history with a total of eight (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018).

'Tomorrow, it's time to grit my teeth and go into the game.

The Copa del Rey final pits two teams in completely different situations against each other.

"We need to go into this game knowing that we could lose it", Valverde said.

"They have a very good team and can cause you real damage in an instant".

With the Copa del Rey final in mind, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde rested Lionel Messi and most of the team's regular starters in the 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo on Tuesday.

The Brazil worldwide joined Ernesto Valverde's side in the January transfer window from Liverpool with the intention of winning trophies.

"I always want to play - the first thing I asked the doctors was when I can play again".