Barça v Athletic: The cup rivalry that keeps repeating
Thursday's game at San Mamés is the latest episode in a series of Copa del Rey encounters between the two teams with the most titles
To say FC Barcelona and Athletic Club have a history in the Spanish Cup would be an understatement.
Athletic have had a long association to the competition. In 1903 and 1904 they won the first two editions (albeit in 1904 without winning a game) and for decades they remained the club with the most titles. However, the last time they won it was 1983. Since then they have played in six finals, including the last two, but have lost them all.
In the meantime, Barça have surpassed the Basques as the team with the most victories, and especially after winning five of the last seven editions have put quite a bit of space between them.
Most Spanish Cup titles FC Barcelona 31 Athletic Club 23* Real Madrid 19 Atlético Madrid 10 Valencia 8 *Some lists also include the officially unrecognised 1902 Copa Coronación.
Barça on top
The two ‘kings of cups’ have crossed paths an extraordinary 44 times in the competition, including eight finals, four of which have been since 2009.
Barça won all four of those finals. In fact, when Athletic beat the Catalans in a single-led quarter finals at San Mamés in 2019/20, it was the first time since 1960 that they had been the overall victors in a cup tie with Barça.
What has always been a very amicable cup rivalry between Barça and Athletic has certainly intensified in recent years. When they meet on Thursday it will be the ninth time they have met since 2009. There have only been five editions in that time when the two have NOT met!
2021 Final (La Cartuja, Sevilla) Barça 4-0 Athletic
2020 Quarter Final Athletic 1-0 Barça
2017 Round of 16 Barça 3-1 Athletic (Barça won 4-3 on aggregate) Athletic 2-1 Barça
2016 Quarter Final Barça 3-1 Athletic (Barça won 5-2 on aggregate) Athletic 1-2 Barça
2015 Final (Camp Nou) Barça 3-1 Athletic
2012 Final (Vicente Calderón, Madrid) Barça 3-0 Athletic
2011 Round of 16 Athletic 1-1 Barça (Barça won on away goals) Barça 0-0 Athletic
2009 Final (Mestalla, Valencia) Barça 4-1 Athletic