Barcelona‘s Camp Nou stadium has been chosen to host the final of the Copa del Rey between Barcelona and Athletic de Bilbao on 30th May.
The Camp Nou was a compromise location as both clubs wanted to play the final at Real Madrid‘s Santiago Bernabéu stadium. But Real Madrid were not in favor of seeing the stadium covered in Basque and Catalan flags so they never offered the stadium as an option.
The Camp Nou was then chosen ahead of Bilbao’s San Mamés as well as the stadiums in Sevilla and Valencia, due to the fact that its the biggest Spanish ground with the capacity to hold 98,787 spectators.
Barcelona reached the final of the Copa del Rey for the fourth time in five years following a 3-1 (6-2 aggregate) victory over Villarreal.
Leading 3-1 from the first leg at the Camp Nou, Barça opened the scoring early on as Neymar scooped the ball over home goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo from close-range to put his side 1-0 up on the night.
Jonathan dos Santos equalised for the hosts as he got on the end of Jaume Costa’s cross to net at the far post five minutes before the break, but they lost Tomas Pina to a straight red card midway through the second half following his two-footed lunge on Neymar.
Uruguay international Luis Suarez added a solo goal for Barça after 73 minutes as he picked the ball up on a run outside the 18-yard box and beat Asenjo before slotting into the bottom corner from close range, while Neymar added the gloss as he headed home from the six-yard box with less than two minutes remaining.
Later on Wednesday, Bilbao claimed a 2-0 victory over Espanyol at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat in the second leg of their semi-final.
With the scores 1-1 after the first leg, the visitors took the lead after 13 minutes as the home defence failed to clear Oscar de Marcos’ cross and Aritz Aduriz picked the ball up and slotted past a diving Pau into the bottom corner for his 15th goal this season.
Bilbao went 2-0 up just before the break as Xabier Etxeita headed home from Andoni Iraola’s corner to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory and set up a final clash with Luis Enrique’s men.