Not all has been said and done in Spain. After a dramatic end to the Primera División last weekend with Real Madrid CF claiming the silverware, the Copa del Rey final between Sevilla FC and Getafe CF will bring closure to the campaign on Saturday.
Rumours linking Getafe coach Bernd Schuster with the coaching post at Real Madrid have dominated the gossip columns of late, but Getafe striker Manu del Moral is calling for minds to focus exclusively on the Santiago Bernabéu showdown. "We have to concentrate on the Copa del Rey," he said. "That is all we should think about. It will be the most important game of my life, but we have to control our nerves." Getafe will be forgiven some butterflies: the Madrid-based team were only formed in 1983 and this is the climax to just their third top-flight season.
Road to final
Indeed Getafe had never before been beyond the last 16 of the Spanish Cup, prior to eliminating Xerez CF (3-2 on aggregate), Valencia CF (5-3), CA Osasuna (3-1) and FC Barcelona in a dramatic semi-final comeback (6-5). While Getafe recover striker Dani Güiza and midfielder Ángel Vívar Dorado from injury, Schuster must do without Juan Albín and Roberto Abbondanzieri due to a broken toe and international commitments with Argentina respectively.
Getafe's inexperience makes Sevilla look like seasoned trophy winners. Juande Ramos's side are chasing their third prize of 2006/07 having lifted the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Cup to add to their European success of last term. The Andalusian club did excel themselves in the domestic cup earlier in the 20th century, collecting the Copa del Rey in 1935, 1939 and 1948 - and this weekend they will wear a shirt commemorating their 1948 triumph.
After missing out in the title race - finishing third to Getafe's ninth - Sevilla will wish to sign off in style. Midfielder Renato has overcome an eye infection and wing-back Daniel Alves is available despite being in Brazil's Copa América squad, yet Jesús Navas is struggling with a sprained knee and Adriano Correia has succumbed to a calf problem. Goalkeeper Andrés Palop is demanding one last effort from his colleagues. "We shouldn't feel any tiredness because it is not every day you play a final and enthusiasm can move mountains," he said. "There are no favourites although they have had two weeks to prepare and we started on Tuesday." Ramos just wants to avoid an upset. "People are talking about going to Madrid to celebrate a cup win and that is not ideal. Getafe have given us a tag of favourites we don't really want."
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