FC Barcelona eye Cup win to help heal UEFA Champions League wounds

messi of Barcelona FC

Lionel Messi of Barcelona FC

Lionel Messi of Barcelona FC

Spanish giants FC Barcelona will target a record-extending 30th King’s Cup triumph when they face Sevilla in Saturday’s final.

A victory would also virtually assure them of a second domestic double in three seasons, reinforcing their dominance in Spain.

Also, victory for Barca in the first final at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid has something else to look forward to.

It will also go some way towards healing the wounds from their catastrophic failure in the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League.

The team’s rampant run towards a 25th Liga title, while staying unbeaten, has been overshadowed by their devastating 3-0 defeat to AS Roma in the continental competition.

The defeat saw them exit Europe’s top competition on away goals rule after blowing a 4-1 lead from the first leg.

It has also harmed coach Ernesto Valverde’s reputation in an otherwise impeccable first season in charge.

Valverde was even criticised in some sections of the Catalan press in the aftermath of their European exit for taking the King’s Cup too seriously.

Some blamed his team’s embarrassment in Rome on his reluctance to rotate his squad.

Barca’s third successive European failure will be all the harder to swallow should Real Madrid go on to win the UEFA Champions League for a third season in a row.

This does not take away the Catalans’ domestic achievements, which are impressive in their own right.

If Barca beat Sevilla, they will become the first team since the Spanish Civil War started to win the Cup four years in a row.

This will thereby almost certainly seal the club’s eighth domestic double.

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Standing in their way are a hugely unpredictable Sevilla side who have endured a series of humiliating defeats in the league under coach Vincenzo Montella.

However, they tend to come into their own on the biggest of occasions.

Sevilla knocked Manchester United out of the UEFA Champions League and dumped Atletico Madrid out of the King’s Cup.

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They also came within a minute of beating Barca in the league before the Catalans fought back from two goals down.

“We don’t have any fear.

“We’ll try and use our weapons as best as we can and ensure that they don’t feel comfortable at all in any stage of the game,” Sevilla midfielder Pablo Sarabia told reporters ahead of the final.

“We have to be as aggressive as we can. It’s a beautiful chance for us to win a trophy. We have to remind ourselves of the good things we’ve done this season.

“We have not been consistent in the league but in the UEFA Champions League we made history and in the Cup we have a chance to lift a trophy.”

There is an outside chance FC Barcelona could be crowned Liga champions the day after the final.

This is if second-placed Atletico Madrid lose to Real Sociedad on Thursday and are beaten at home by Real Betis on Sunday.

Third-placed Real Madrid were due to face Sevilla this weekend but the game has been postponed because of the King’s Cup final, while fourth-placed Valencia visit Celta Vigo on Saturday.

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