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The stadium of San Mamés and Athletic Club de Bilbao will surely bring back happy memories for coach Xavi Hernández. The current coach is no stranger to picking up good results, especially in the Copa del Rey, against the Basques as his record of just one defeat as a player bears out.
Only one defeat at San Mamés
On Thursday, kick off 9.30pm CET, Xavi will visit San Mamés for the first time as FC Barcelona coach. In his playing days he visited the stadium on some 15 occasions, recording eight wins, six draws and just one defeat:
- Athletic Club 0 - Barça 4. League. 11/03/2000
- Athletic Club 0 - Barça 2. League. 26/4/2002
- Athletic Club 0 - Barça 2. League. 14/9/2002
- Athletic Club 0 - Barça 1. League. 30/8/2003
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 1. League. 30/10/2004
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 3. League. 30/9/2006
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 1. League. 27/1/2008
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 2. Super Cup. 16/8/2009
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 1. League. 21/11/2009
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 3. League. 25/9/2010
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 1. Copa del Rey. 5/1/2011
- Athletic Club 2 - Barça 2. League. 6/11/2011
- Athletic Club 2 - Barça 2. League. 27/4/2013
- Athletic Club 1 - Barça 0. League. 1/12/2013
- Athletic Club 2 - Barça 5. League 8/2/2015
Furthermore, the former Barça midfielder scored twice at San Mamés during his career, in the Super Cup 2009 and in the league in 2010. Xavi scored twice more against Athletic in his career; once at Camp Nou in the league and once Copa del Rey, in the 2009 final played in Mestalla stadium, Valencia.
Three Cup wins against Athletic Club
The Barça coach had an excellent record against Athletic as a player in the Copa del Rey. The blaugranes meet the Basques in the last 16 of this season's competition in a one off tie but back in the season 2010/11 a 1-1 draw in Bilbao helped a Barça squad including Xavi Hernández move past the last 16 and into the quarter-finals in a two legged tie.
Xavi, however, also had great success against Athletic Club in one off contests as he played in the winning Barça side in the final of the Copa del Rey in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The midfielder produced typically measured performances in all three finals, getting on the scoresheet with a great free kick in 2009 and providing as assist in the 2012 final.
With such good memories of San Mamés, Athletic and the Copa del Rey, Xavi will be looking to maintain his record against los leones and book place in the last eight of this season's competition.
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