Atletico and Sevilla set to end season with the cheap-as-chips cup final

Thanks to Merciful Zeus Himself, the Copa del Rey - the barnacle on the bottom of the good ship la Liga - comes to an end in the Camp Nou on Wednesday night.

And if you think that LLL is being a tad disrespectful to a tournament that is little more than a cheap-as-chips chance for losers such as Athletic Bilbao and Getafe to sneak into Europe on the sly, then that’s nothing compared to how the trophy is treated by the suits in Spain.

The original date for the final that was decided upon by some clueless clot at the Spanish FA was the 26th May, a full week-and-a-half after the end of the Primera season and bang in the middle of the international preparations for the World Cup.

Had the eventual finalists been some international-less no-hopers like Espanyol and Almería then the original date would not have mattered a jot.

But as the Camp Nou clash features Atlético Madrid and Sevilla, the date and venue has been constantly moved to fit in with the Rojiblancos’ surprisingly busy end-of-season agenda.

Neither side has had to break into too much of a sweat to reach the final with the competition rigged to give the easiest possible draws to the Big Clubs in the opening round and the home advantage in the two-legged ties for the remaining games.

This left Atlético only having to squeeze past Marbella, Recreativo, Celta and Racing to win the chance of a second trophy, this season.

To be fair to Sevilla, the Andalusian club did have to defeat Barcelona along with Atlético Ciudad, Deportivo and Xerez on their slog to the Catalan capital.

Although bookies in Spain see the tie has fairly evenly matched, Sevilla president José Maria del Nido begs to disagree. “The league table says that we are fourth and Atlético Madrid are below us in ninth” blustered the balding boss.

Del Nido also sees the Sevilla fans has being another point in his team’s favour at the Camp Nou claiming that “there will be 32,000  there and if we count every Sevillano as three then we are 96,000.”

Ironically, it is this kind of multiple-counting and creative interpretation of figures that sees the Sevilla boss on trial at the moment for corruption and facing a 13 year sentence, the punishment requested by the Spanish Fiscalía should the former lawyer for Jesús Gil be found guilty.

On a footballing front, Sevilla have been handed an enormous amount of outrageous and very dubious luck with Alvaro Negredo’s red card from last Saturday being turned into a suspension-cancelling yellow despite the potty-mouthed forward telling the assistant referee that he wanted to s*** on his whore mother. Lovely stuff.

This let-off is a good thing too for the fourth-placed finishing side considering Luis Fabiano has interpreted Wednesday’s battle as interfering with his World Cup plans and has claimed some kind of leg muscle injury that sees him missing the clash.

Atlético will be that little bit fresher going into the game having done a Wolves - but without the controversy - by resting pretty much every decent player they have for last Saturday’s Getafe clash,  a move that has not caused an ounce of controversy in la Liga.

AS are doing their duty for King and country - quite literally - by featuring the final on the front pages of Wednesday’s edition. However Marca have shoved the clash to page 18 as an afterthought. Instead the paper leads with a lengthy chat between director, Eduardo Inda, and a truly shameless José Mourinho who leaves readers in doubt as to his summertime plans.

“I want to manage Real Madrid 100%” says a man who is supposed to be preparing for a certain Champions League clash on Saturday. “If I leave {Inter} it’s with a clear conscience after having transformed the club” claimed modest Mou.

La Liga Loca is cheering Sevilla all the way in the final, simply because it does not want its precious sleep interpreted for a second week in succession by drunken Atleti fans tooting their horns or banging on bins.

But in the end the blog doesn’t really give two hoots about the tournament. But then again, nor do those who are running it.

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