Barcelona Thrash Leganes After Valencia Loss

Valencia’s Central African Republic-French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia (L) challenges Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF against FC Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on January 25, 2020.  AFP

 

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona hammered Leganes 5-0 on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and deliver a much-needed boost for new coach Quique Setien. 

Messi’s double, as well as goals from Antoine Griezmann, Clement Lenglet and Arthur Melo rounded off an emphatic win at Camp Nou, where Barca successfully bounced back from Saturday’s surprise La Liga loss away at Valencia.

“We did a lot of things well but I am not completely happy because we also lost control of the game in the latter stages of the first half,” said Setien.

Defeat at Mestalla allowed Real Madrid to pull three points clear at the top of the league and put early pressure on Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde as coach earlier this month.

His appointment will be judged on performances in the league and Champions League this season but Barca have a rich recent history in the Copa del Rey, which they have won in four of the last five years.

They will be in Friday’s draw for the last eight where, despite a number of upsets, they join a familiar-looking field.

Real Madrid, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Granada, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao are already through, with Sevilla to face Mirandes later on Thursday.

A home tie in the last 16 against La Liga’s bottom club always looked a kind route back to winning ways for Setien’s side, whose next four league fixtures now include Levante, Getafe and Eibar, all at home, as well as a trip to Real Betis.

Victories in those games would give Setien momentum but performances will be important too given his arrival was as much about changing Barcelona’s style as their results.

After a ponderous display against Valencia, they outclassed Leganes, who pressed high from the start, despite early indications suggesting this Barcelona team might struggle more against opponents that sit deep.

Before the game, the Catalans’ club director Guillermo Amor ruled out buying another striker before the end of the January transfer window on Friday, meaning Griezmann is likely to step into the role of the injured Luis Suarez down the middle.

“There may be a risk of injuries but I have confidence in the players I have,” said Setien. “It wasn’t to be and that’s fine with me. We have to think about what we have and we are happy because in a few weeks we will have Dembele back too.”

Griezmann made his case by opening the scoring after four minutes as Nelson Semedo cut back for the Frenchman to control and poke home his 13th goal of the season.

Another Griezmann strike was ruled out shortly after, only for Lenglet to head in Messi’s corner at the near post to put Barcelona two up after 27 minutes.

Messi made it three after springing in behind just before the hour and then Arthur Melo, on for Griezmann, added another, banging in after both Ansu Fati and Messi had been denied.

Leganes were finished but Messi had one more goal left in him as he latched onto Ivan Rakitic’s pass and rounded Pichu Cuellar, before finishing for his 19th of the season and third under a relieved Setien.

AFP

Zidane Confirms Bale’s Fitness For Copa Del Rey

 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale is fit and ready to play against Unionistas de Salamanca on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey. 

Bale was left out of the squad for Madrid’s win over Sevilla on Saturday and Zidane said after the match he had picked up a knock.

The Welshman trained with his teammates last week, after also missing the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia through illness.

It means Bale has not played for Real Madrid since January 4, when he started their 3-0 win away Getafe. He has not scored for his club since September 1.

Asked why Bale and James Rodriguez, who has hardly featured in the last two months, have “disappeared”, Zidane said: “They haven’t disappeared. They were both injured the other day. They are both ready to play.”

Real Madrid play in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey against Unionistas de Salamanca, the fan-owned club launched in 2013 after UD Salamanca went out of business.

Unionistas, who now play in Spain’s third tier, have faced problems preparing for the tie given their stadium at Las Pistas del Helmantico can hold 3,000 spectators, with only one stand and insufficient lighting.

The pitch is surrounded by an athletics track.

“All the players have started playing on pitches like this, me as well,” said Zidane, when it was suggested the pitch could cause Real Madrid problems.

“We are prepared both mentally and in a sporting sense as well because we know where we are going to play and we know what to expect.

“Perhaps it was 10 or 15 years ago but we have all played on pitches like this, in difficult situations. It will not be a problem for us.”

Zidane is likely to rest key players, with a trip to Real Valladolid to come in La Liga on Sunday and the Madrid derby against Atletico scheduled for the following weekend.

AFP

Valencia Defeat Barcelona To Win Copa Del Rey

 

Barcelona wanted a trophy to ease their Champions League heartache but instead fell to another shock defeat as Valencia pulled off a thrilling 2-1 victory on Saturday to win the Copa del Rey. 

Chasing a record fifth consecutive triumph, Barca were undone by a relentless and gutsy Valencia side, who hung on after Lionel Messi pulled a goal back to set up a dramatic finish in Seville.

By then, Valencia were already two up, Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo scoring twice in 13 frantic first-half minutes after the latter spurned a golden early chance that could have spared them a nerve-shredding last 17 minutes.

Messi drove the comeback effort and Goncalo Guedes twice should have wrapped it up for Valencia, missing a one-on-one and then an open goal before the final whistle sparked pandemonium.

Valencia’s coach Marcelino, who might have been sacked when his team were four points off relegation in January, raced around the pitch in a frenzy. Barcelona’s players sank to their knees.

Messi admitted on Friday his team had still not recovered from the “hard blow” suffered against Liverpool and certainly, they seemed too easily disheartened here, finding their fight only once it was too late.

Messi also threw his support behind Barcelona’s coach Ernesto Valverde but it remains to be seen whether the backing of the board remains after two dreadful defeats have now spoiled such a brilliant La Liga campaign.

They came here as favourites, but only just, their 1,457 consecutive days as Copa del Rey champions under threat, from their own sense of deflation, key players out injured and Valencia’s recent surge.

If Barca’s season all but ended three weeks ago, Valencia’s arguably found life a few days later, as they moved into the top four for the first time and then held on to qualify for the Champions League.

Winning their first trophy since 2008, in the club’s centenary year, completes a remarkable comeback year that, after 15 games, had them languishing in 15th.

Some saw a metaphor in Barcelona’s pre-match tifo, spelling out ‘All Together’ splitting down the middle, while there were key absentees from their starting line-up too, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele all injured.

Valencia should have been ahead within five minutes, Clement Lenglet’s error sending Rodrigo clear but his finish was brilliantly scooped off the line by the recovering Gerard Pique.

Barca, with Sergio Busquets in the centre of a back three, settled but lacked zip and in the 23rd minute, they were behind. Jose Gaya scuttled in behind Nelson Semedo and his pull-back wrong-footed everyone except Gameiro, who fired in.

Semedo had been beaten down the left and soon after Jordi Alba was outrun down the right, by Carlos Soler, whose cross needed only to be nodded down and in by Rodrigo for number two.

Barcelona stirred before the break. Ivan Rakitic volleyed and then headed wide before Messi registered their first shot on target in the 43rd minute.

Malcom and Arturo Vidal came on for Semedo and Arthur during the interval, as Barca turned the screw. Messi might have turned the match but after wriggling through his sumptuous flick towards the far corner brushed the post.

Pique fired wide as Valencia dropped deeper. Finally, Messi broke through, the post this time his friend after Lenglet’s header struck the woodwork and landed kindly at his feet.

There were 17 minutes to survive and with six left, Messi headed over. The Valencia fans roared and then again when Messi was dispossessed by a sliding challenge.

Messi drove from the edge of the area but it was blocked and Guedes twice should have wrapped it up, first missing a one-on-one and then an open goal when Jasper Cillessen had gone up for a corner. He was perhaps as relieved as anyone when the whistle blew.

 

AFP

Barcelona Beat Real Madrid 3-0 To Reach Copa Del Rey Final

Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro (L) fouls Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 27, 2019.
JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Luis Suarez scored twice on Wednesday as Barcelona inflicted another defeat on Real Madrid to move within touching distance of winning a record fifth consecutive Copa del Rey.

Madrid were the better side for at least half of a wild Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu but three goals conceded in 28 chaotic, second-half minutes sent Barca through to the final with a 3-0 victory, 4-1 on aggregate.

Copa Del Rey: Real Madrid Take On Barcelona In Semis

 

Real Madrid will face defending champions Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

The draw made on Friday means there will be back-to-back Clasicos, with the second leg due to take place in the last week of February, before Madrid host Barca in La Liga on March 2.

The first leg will be played at the Camp Nou next week before a return at the Santiago Bernabeu. The provisional dates are February 6 and 27. Real Betis will go up against Valencia in the other semi-final.

Barcelona are 10 points clear of Madrid in La Liga and will be favourites to progress but their opponents have found form in recent weeks, winning six of their last seven matches.

Barcelona director Guillermo Amor said: “Real Madrid are playing well and they will be the Madrid team we always expect — a group of winners that competes for everything, that can give us a scare if we are not ready to work.”

READ ALSO: Cardiff Struggled To Sign Players After Sala’s Disappearance, Says Warnock

“There’s nothing like it,” Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno said. “We are talking about two teams with a lot of resources, with extraordinary players and we always expect very tight games.

“We trust our players but obviously this is one of the greatest games in the world today.”

Barca are chasing a record fifth Copa del Rey success in a row while Madrid are into the last four for the first time since they won the competition in 2014.

Two Clasicos in a week

Two Clasico games in a week will crank up the pressure on both teams at the end of the month but Real also have a testing schedule around the first leg, sandwiched between a city derby against Atletico Madrid in La Liga and a Champions League last-16 first leg away to Ajax.

Santiago Solari’s side will hope victories in the Copa del Rey can have a knock-on effect in the league, however, where Barca have been unflappable over the past two months, winning eight matches on the spin.

The opener at the Camp Nou will present Madrid with a chance to avenge their 5-1 hammering there in October too, a result that led to Julen Lopetegui being sacked as coach.

They reached the Copa del Rey semis after completing a 7-3 aggregate victory over Girona on Thursday while Barcelona pulled off a brilliant comeback to beat Sevilla, overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit by winning 6-1 at the Camp Nou.

Valencia continued their own resurgence by scoring two late goals to overcome Getafe on Tuesday and Real Betis needed extra time to knock out Espanyol.

Each sitting on 29 points in La Liga, Valencia and Betis played out a goalless draw when they met at Mestalla in September and both will fancy their chances of making the final.

Betis also have added motivation in this year’s competition after their own stadium, the Benito Villamarin, was confirmed as the venue for the final on May 25.

“For everyone, and above all the fans, it would be an extraordinary way to finish the season,” Betis coach Quique Setien said earlier this week.

“To play the final in your home stadium, on your home pitch, and with your fans in your own stands — we know half the city would be there to support.”

AFP

Solari Leads Real Madrid To Impressive Outing In Copa Del Rey

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (L) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish King’s Cup (Copa del Rey) football match between UD Melilla and Real Madrid CF at the Alvarez Claro municipal stadium in the autonomous city of Melilla on October 31, 2018. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

 

Santiago Solari’s reign as interim Real Madrid coach got off to an encouraging start on Wednesday as the European champions made light of third-tier hosts Melilla in the Copa del Rey.

Goals from Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola and Cristo Gonzalez earned the 19-time champions a 4-0 win on their first visit to this Spanish enclave on the north African coast.

Solari was promoted from boss of Real’s Castilla B team on Monday after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui only 139 days after his appointment.

Sunday’s 5-1 Clasico humbling by Barcelona proved the last straw for Real president Florentino Perez, who will nevertheless have been warmed by the team’s display in this last 32 first leg clash.

Melilla may not be Barca or Manchester City but there was plenty to like about Real’s performance, not least the bright debut of highly-touted Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior.

After catching the eye in Solari’s Castilla side the 18-year-old Flamengo recruit was handed his first team starting debut, and was one of Real’s best players.

His superb pass set up Asensio for Real’s second on the stroke of half-time, after Benzema playing as a central striker had tapped in Odriozola’s assist from close range on 28 minutes.

Real Madrid’s Argentinian coach Santiago Solari (L) stands on the sideline during the game.
JORGE GUERRERO / AFP

 

At the restart Solari made two changes, introducing Nacho for Sergio Ramos with Benzema replaced by Federico Valverde.

Melilla began the second period brightly, as they had done the first, proving more of a threat to their well-heeled but hurting visitors.

Against the run of play only a fine point-blank save from Melilla keeper Dani Barrio denied Dani Ceballos on the hour.

Then Vicinius almost marked his first team arrival with a goal, his shot thudding off the crossbar.

Odriozola bagged his first goal for Real, firing into an empty net after good work from Vicinius and Reguillo before substitute Gonzalez headed home.

Solari said on Tuesday he was open to becoming Real coach on a long-term basis, and as a statement of intent, he could not have asked for much more from his first game in charge.

The Argentinian, who spent five years playing for Madrid between 2000 and 2005, is likely to remain in post for Real’s La Liga game at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday and could stay on for next week’s trip to Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.

Madrid have sounded out former Chelsea and Juventus coach Antonio Conte but initial talks have reportedly not gone smoothly. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez and the club’s former midfielder Guti have also been linked.

But if Solari continues to impress he may well find himself signing a full time contract as he seeks to emulate another former Castilla coach who went on to glorious innings as Real boss — Zinedine Zidane.

Later Wednesday Barcelona are at second division Leonesa.

AFP

Brilliant Barcelona Batter Sevilla To Win 4th Straight Copa Del Rey Title

Brilliant Barcelona Batter Sevilla To Win Copa Del Rey
Barcelona’s players pose with the trophy after winning the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) final football match Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 21, 2018. Barcelona won 5-0. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez inspired Barcelona to what will surely be the first part of a domestic double this season as they thrashed Sevilla 5-0 on Saturday to win the Copa del Rey.

Messi had scored once and Suarez twice before even the half-time whistle had blown at the Wanda Metropolitano, with the sublime Andres Iniesta and Philippe Coutinho later compounding Sevilla’s humiliation.

Barca’s exhilarating display earns them their 30th triumph in this competition and fourth in a row, having reached the final in each of the last five years.

But, despite hugs and high-fives at the end, the real celebrations will be put on ice until next Sunday, when victory over Deportivo La Coruna will confirm Ernesto Valverde’s side as La Liga champions too.

Even a clean sweep of the domestic trophies, perhaps polished by La Liga’s first ever unbeaten season, will not eradicate the lingering disappointment from Barca’s Champions League exit to Roma.

But this performance, as easy on the eye as it was emphatic, will certainly serve as a counter-point to those that believe Valverde’s team have been efficient, rather than exciting this season, and overly reliant on Messi.

The Argentinian was, of course, superb again on Saturday but this was not a one-man show.

Barcelona’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) final football match Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on April 21, 2018.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Suarez scored his 31st and 32nd goals of the season while Iniesta delivered one of those effortless displays, in which at times he was virtually unplayable.

If this is to be the 33-year-old’s last Barca final before departing for China, it was a fitting farewell, with only goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen absent from the 10-man huddle that engulfed the Spaniard following his shimmying fourth.

By the time Coutinho converted his penalty in the 69th minute, Barca were simply sharing the goals around.

For Sevilla, defeat was always the most likely scenario but this was a whitewash.

Sitting eighth in La Liga, even Europa League qualification now looks an outside bet and there may be repercussions for coach Vincenzo Montella and some of his players in the summer.

They were second best from minute one, as Barca swarmed forward with barely a pause for breath in the opening quarter of an hour.

When the first goal arrived it came from a long Cillessen punt downfield as Coutinho found himself free behind the Sevilla backline and squared for Suarez to stab home.

Sevilla enjoyed perhaps their best period before the half-hour as three white shirts failed to connect with Jesus Navas’ cross and Franco Vazquez could have done better with a free header.

But Barca were in control. Iniesta hit the bar with a rasping shot from distance and soon they were two up, Jordi Alba keeping the ball alive with a backheel that Messi slammed into the roof of the net.

Messi could have had a second were it not for an incorrect offside call and then a cynical foul by Sergio Escudero, for which he was lucky only to receive a yellow card.

Both mattered little, however, as Messi set Suarez free in the 41st minute, and the Uruguayan slid a third under David Soria.

It was another one-two, with Messi again the pivot, that released Iniesta in the second half as the midfielder’s dummy-shot left Soria scrambling and an open net to finish for the midfielder to finish into.

Resigned to their fate, Sevilla’s fans sang to the end, even as Coutinho despatched a penalty to make it five after the ball had struck Clement Lenglet on the arm.

All that was left was for Iniesta’s substitution to be greeted by a standing ovation as the skipper ponders a predicted move to China at the end of the season.

 

AFP

Costa Strike Not Enough As Sevilla Down Atletico

Costa Strike Not Enough As Sevilla Down Atletico
Sevilla and Atletico players cheer each other at the end of the Spanish ‘Copa del Rey’ (King’s cup) football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on January 17, 2018.   PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Diego Costa’s third goal in four matches wasn’t enough for Atletico Madrid as Sevilla twice scored late to stun their hosts 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday, while Valencia also came from a goal down to beat lowly Alaves.

Costa struck for dominant Atletico on his first appearance since being sent off for wildly celebrating his last goal at Getafe, this one a superb first-time shot past Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico after the ball ricocheted to him in the 73rd minute.

However, Sevilla grabbed a hugely fortunate and barely deserved equaliser seven minutes later when a speculative cross deflected off Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez and was then inexplicably pushed into his own net by keeper Miguel Angel Moya.

New Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella sealed his third win since arriving in Spain — all of coming them in the cup — with a much better goal two minutes from time, Joaquin Correa racing on to Wissam Ben Yedder’s knock-on and tucking a fine finish past Moya.

Valencia came close to being shocked at their Mestalla stadium by Alaves, who are languishing in 17th place in La Liga and are just two points above the relegation zone, but Goncalo Guedes and Rodrigo scored in nine second-half minutes to overturn Ruben Sobrino’s 66th-minute opener for the away side.

Barcelona are at local rivals Espanyol in Wednesday’s late game.

AFP

Spanish Copa Del Rey Results

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (C) vies with Celta Vigo’s Spanish defender Jonny Castro (L) and Celta Vigo’s Spanish defender Sergi Gomez (R) during the Copa del Rey round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Celta de Vigo on January 11, 2018. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

The Spanish Copa Del Rey continued on Thursday with Barcelona hosting Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou after being held  1-1 in the first leg.

Here are the results for the last 16 second leg:

Levante 0 Espanyol 2 (Baptistao 14, Moreno 34)

Espanyol win 3-2 on aggregate

Sevilla 2 (Ben Yedder 31, Correa 54) Cadiz 1 (Rivera 86)

Sevilla win 4-1 on aggregate

Playing later (2030)

Barcelona v Celta Vigo (1st leg: 1-1)

Played Wednesday

Alaves 2 (Demirovic 55, Pedraza 90+1) Formentera 0

Alaves win 5-1 on aggregate

Villarreal 2 (Raba 48, Cheryshev 89) Leganes 1 (El Zhar 31)

Aggregate score 2-2, Leganes through on away goals

Real Madrid 2 (Lucas Vazquez 10, 59) Numancia 2 (Guillermo 45, 82)

Real Madrid win 5-2 on aggregate

Played Tuesday

Atletico Madrid 3 (Carrasco 57, Gameiro 74, Vitolo 81) Lleida 0

Atletico Madrid win 7-0 on aggregate

Valencia 4 (Vietto 30, 48, 66, Maksimovic 54) Las Palmas 0

Valencia win 5-1 on aggregate

AFP

Barca Face Celta Vigo Once More In Cup Last 16

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (bottom) looks at the ball shot by Barcelona’s Spanish defender Jordi Alba (R) during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs RC Celta at the Camp Nou. Photo: PAU BARRENA / AFP

Holders Barcelona will face Celta Vigo in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey as La Liga’s top five were kept apart in Tuesday’s draw.

Celta, coached by former Barca goalkeeper and assistant manager Juan Carlos Unzue, became the first side to take league points from Barca at the Camp Nou for a year on Saturday in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

The Galicians also shocked Real Madrid on their way to the semi-finals last season, but Barca, who haven’t been eliminated by any side other than Real in the Cup since 2010, remain strong favourites to make the quarter-finals once more with the second leg to come at the Camp Nou.

Real Madrid also have the security of the second leg at home against second division Numancia, who eliminated top-flight opposition in Malaga in the last 32.

Third tier Lleida Esportiu are rewarded for their remarkable comeback from 3-0 down on aggregate to beat Real Sociedad on away goals with a matchup against Atletico Madrid.

The other side from Spain’s regional third tier left in the draw, Formentera, face last season’s finalists Alaves.

Sevilla were handed an Andalusian derby at Cadiz, whilst high flying Valencia face a trip to the Canary Islands to take on Las Palmas.

Copa del Rey last 16 draw (1st legs January 2-4, 2nd legs January 9-11):

Formentera v Alaves

Atletico Madrid v Lleida Esportiu

Numancia v Real Madrid

Celta Vigo v Barcelona

Cadiz v Sevilla

Leganes v Villarreal

Las Palmas v Valencia

Espanyol v Levante

AFP

Holders Barcelona Draw Murcia In Copa Del Rey

Barcelona’s forward from Uruguay Luis Suarez (hidden) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs FC Barcelona at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on September 23, 2017. Josep LAGO / AFP

Barcelona will begin their defence of the Spanish Copa del Rey with a tie against third-tier Murcia after Thursday’s draw for the last 32.

Barca, who have won the trophy in each of the last three seasons, will go to Murcia’s Nueva Condomina stadium for the first leg during the last week in October with the return at the Camp Nou in late November.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid can look forward to a local derby against Fuenlabrada, a club from the suburbs of the Spanish capital who compete in the third tier.

Fuenlabrada is the hometown of Fernando Torres and their stadium, where they will host Madrid in the first leg next month, is named after the Atletico Madrid legend.

Atletico have been drawn against Elche of the third tier while Sevilla face Cartagena.

Copa del Rey round of 32 draw

Cartagena v Sevilla

Elche v Atletico Madrid

Murcia v Barcelona

Fuenlabrada v Real Madrid

Formentera v Athletic Bilbao

Lleida v Real Sociedad

Ponferradina v Villarreal

Real Zaragoza v Valencia

Numancia v Malaga

Valladolid v Leganes

Cadiz v Betis

Tenerife v Espanyol

Getafe v Alaves

Deportivo de La Coruna v Las Palmas

Girona v Levante

Eibar v Celta Vigo

– First legs October 24-26, second legs November 28-30

AFP

Barcelona To Name New Coach May 29

Barcelona President, Josep Bartomeu, has confirmed that the club will announce its new coach on May 29, two days after the Copa del Rey final.

Reports in the Barcelona media last week said the club have already agreed on a two-year deal with Athletic Bilbao coach, Ernesto Valverde.

Luis Enrique said in March he will be leaving the club after the season, and Bartomeu confirmed the timeline for announcing his replacement.

“We thank Luis Enrique for the effort, he has put in the demands he placed on himself. The door is open. Now we have the Copa.

“On May 29, we have a board meeting and we will announce the name of the new coach after,” Bartomeu said.