FC Barcelona’s love affair with the Spanish Cup continues. Having already won the title, known in the modern era as the Copa del Rey, on a record thirty occasions, they are into the final for the sixth consecutive year and are just one game away from an unprecedented fifth crown in a row.
Barça have successfully negotiated a massive 24 rounds of this competition without getting knocked out, against 18 different clubs, with Levante, Real Sociedad, Athletic Club, Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Valencia all being beaten by Barça not once but twice.
It hasn’t always been easy. In this year’s edition, the Catalans lost the first legs against both Levante and Sevilla but turned both ties around at the Camp Nou, and were also in a tight spot going into today’s game at the Bernabéu after being held 1-1 at home in the first game with Real Madrid. However, they were able to turn things around with a fantastic 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu in the second leg.
No team in any of the Europe’s top five leagues has ever qualified for six cup finals in a row.
The closest is Lille in the Coupe de France, who made every final from 1945-1949, although PSG could equal that record this year.
The record in both Germany and Italy is four. Borussia Dortmund were in four successive DFB-Pokal finals (2014-17) but only won one of them. Juventus were chasing a fifth consecutive Coppa Italia this year, but crashed out to Atalanta, and so now share the four-final record with Roma (2005-08) and Inter (2005 -08).
No team has made the English FA Cup Final more than three times in a row, most recently Arsenal (2001-2003), who are tied with Manchester United (1994-96), Everton (1984-1986), West Bromwich Albion (1886-1888), Blackburn Rovers (1884-1886), Wanderers (1876-1878) and Old Etonians (1881-1883).
There’s still some work to do to beat the world record though. FC Vaduz have played in the last 24 finals of the Liechtenstein Cup – and could make it 25 this year!