FC Barcelona will meet Atlético Madrid for the final time in the Vicente Calderón on Sunday at 4.15pm CET in Week 24 of La Liga. It is not, however, the final time that Barça will play at the stadium as the Calderón has been chosen as the venue for the Copa del Rey final against Alavés on 27 May. That will be the final official fixture at the famous ground before Atlético move to their new stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano, in the summer.
The blaugranes first played at Atlético Madrid’s current home on 1 November 1966, when it was still called the Estadio Manzanares. A goal from Pedro Zaballa gave them the victory that day and since then they have won 17 more times, drawn 11 and lost 19 at Los Colochoneros. If they manage to avoid defeat this Sunday, Barça will beat the run of six games unbeaten in the Calderón that they have achieved on two occasions: a run of three wins and three draws between 1966 and 1972 and the current one of five wins and a draw which began in the season 2010/11.
It is the third time in history that Barça will play at the Calderón on 26 February. The first came in the 1996/97 season in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final. Juan Antonio Pizzi scored twice to give Bobby Robson’s side a 2-2 draw, a game that preceded the legendary second leg at Camp Nou in which Pizzi was again the hero, scoring the winner in a thrilling 5-4 victory.
The last time the two sides met in Madrid on this date came in the 2011/12 season. A Barça side coached by Pep Guardiola won 2-1 against Diego Simeone’s team, with goals from Dani Alves and Leo Messi giving the Catalans all three points in the league clash.