Copa del Rey Final build-up, as it happened

Copa del Rey Final build-up, as it happened

All the news as FC Barcelona prepare to take on Valencia in the 2019 Copa del Rey Final (9.00pm, all times CEST)

7.55pm: And there you have it. Valverde names his team and it's as follows: Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Sergio, Arthur, Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, Coutinho and Messi. The bench is to be filled by Iñaki Peña, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Arturo Vidal, Aleñá, Malcom and Carles Pérez.

And that's it from us... We'll hand you over to our MATCH CENTER for minute by minute coverage of the game. Força Barça!

7.45pm: Great news. Nelson Semedo, Philippe Coutinho and Arthur have been given the medical all clear and are available for game. Will they be in the line-up? We'll be finding out in just a few minutes when Ernesto Valverde reveals his squad!

7:20pm: ? The team bus arrives at the Benito Villamarín. As they say in Catalan ... Som-hi, Barça!

6.10pm: ? Back at the hotel the players are having a quick bite to eat and then they'll be boarding the coach to the Benito Villamarín... This is happening, folks!

6.00h: ? Getting closer time... the gates to the Benito Villamarín are open and the first fans are already entering the ground. There's dedication for you!

5.50pm: ?? One of the highlights of the day, for sure, has been the presence of this bloke in the Fan Zone. It's over a decade since he left Barça, but the fans clearly still adore Hristo Stoichkov!

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mini_IMG_8136

5.45pm: ? It's not easy to describe what an amazing day we're all having here in Seville. But this video should give you a pretty good idea! We're told that a staggering 12,047 supporters passed by the Fan Zone.

5.30pm: ? Football is a funny old game. Scarves are one of the last things you need in Andalusia in late May. Unless you're a football fan. Still three and a half hours to go and the fans are in fine song. Let's hope their voices hold...  

Fan Zone
Fan Zone

5.00pm: ? You go to see a football match and you get a pop concert thrown in as well! Can't argue with that!

Gran ambient a la Barça Fan Zone Estrella Damm
Gran ambient a la Barça Fan Zone Estrella Damm

4.30pm: ? It's safe to say that everyone is having a lot of fun in the Barça Fan Zone... Four and a half hours to go until kick-off!

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mini_IMG_8095

4.15pm: ? Here's popstress and actree Ana Mena providing the sounds for the fans in the Barça Fan Zone.

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mini_IMG_8084

4.00pm: ? Famous faces popping up all around the Andalusian capital. This is flamenco-pop songstress India Martinez, who sat down for a chat with Barça TV.

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mini_IMG_8048

3.00pm: ? Time to grab some grub. Luckily, finding something good to eat is not a difficult task in a city like Seville. 

Afició
Afició

2.15pm: ????? A 'hand' of cups ... That's the goal tonight. No club in any of Europe’s ‘big five’ has ever won five cups in a row, and the only side in the continent that is on a more extended cup run is Vaduz of Liechtenstein, who recently won their seventh consecutive cup final.

Mà de copes Fan Zone
Mà de copes Fan Zone

1.50pm: ? Two more Barça Legends pass by the Fan Zone. Andoni Goikoetxea and Juan Carlos were part of the great Dream Team. Curiously, neither of them ever got to play in a cup final for Barça, but Juan Carlos was on the losing side in 1995 when he was playing for Valencia against eventual winners Deportivo. That was a bizarre affair – the game was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch with 11 minutes to go and 81,000 people turned up to see the last 11 minutes played three days later!

Juan Carlos, Jon Andoni Goikoetxea y el vicepresidente Jordi Cardoner
Juan Carlos, Jon Andoni Goikoetxea y el vicepresidente Jordi Cardoner

1.40pm: ⏰ The players have arrived at their hotel. This is the schedule for the rest of the day:

 - 2.00pm: Lunch followed by relaxation
 - 6.10pm: Light snack
 - 6.45pm (approx): Departure for the Benito Villamarín
 - 9.00pm: Kick-off!

1.20pm: ???? Luis Suárez (as ever accompanied by his cup of 'mate') and Leo Messi ... The Uruguayan won't be playing today unfortunately following knee surgery, while Leo Messi is a happy camper after securing his sixth European Golden Shoe yesterday. We've got the full story on that here.

VIATGE SEVILLA - MIGUEL RUIZ
VIATGE SEVILLA - MIGUEL RUIZ

1:15 pm: ? There's fun for all ages for those lucky enough to be in Seville and enjoying the Barça Fan Zone!

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WhatsApp Image 2019-05-25 at 12.29.28

12:20 pm: ? Some are flying, some are driving, some are even lucky enough to be able to walk! Barça fans arriving by all kinds of means – these were the scenes at the train station as the train from Barcelona chuffed into town.

WhatsApp Image 2019-05-25 at 12.04.10
WhatsApp Image 2019-05-25 at 12.04.10

12:00 pm: ? Plenty of well-known faces are expected in the Fan Zone today. Barça directors Jordi Cardoner and Pau Vilanova are among the first to come by to greet the fans.

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mini_IMG_3454

11:40am: ✈ We’re here! Barça have landed in Seville and are heading for some rest at a local hotel. Not long to go now! ??

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mini__12I4424

11:30 am: ❤? It’s a long time until kick-off but the early birds are already starting to arrive in the Barça Fan Zone in Seville. Plenty of fun and games await to keep fans amused before they make their way to the stadium.

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D7ZzABjXkAAmBmW

11:15 am: ? Turning the clocks back to yesterday and these were the scenes at a wet training ground yesterday as the players arrived for their last workout. Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué and Ernesto Valverde all gave press conferences – and then it was out onto the pitch to finalise preparations for Seville.

11:00 am: ☀ The venue for today’s game is the Benito Villamarin in Seville. The 60,720 capacity home of Real Betis is the fourth largest stadium in Spain, so it’s rather surprising that this is the first time it’s ever held the final, and it’s only the fourth time it’s been played in the city. It’s going to be warm. Today’s temperatures: Max. 32ºC and Min. 16ºC.

Barça Benito Villamarin
Barça Benito Villamarin

10:30 am: ✈ Jet setting. The Barça squad have left for Seville. Remember, Ernesto Valverde has a number of injuries to work his head around, but he has opted to take EVERYONE on the trip regardless. The only player who’s missing is Jean-Clair Tobido, who is away with the France U20 team.  Abel Ruiz, Iñaki Peña and Carles Pérez of Barça B are also in the squad.

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10.00 am: ☀ Good morning (or afternoon, evening…) Barça fans wherever you are in the world. The big day is upon us. Yes, it’s the Copa del Rey Final. We’re getting quite used to these, it’s the sixth in a row for us and this year we’re off to sunny Seville to take on Valencia at the Benito Villamarin. Watch this space between now and the 9.00pm kick-off for all the latest news in the build-up.

 

Força Barça
Força Barça

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