Ahead of the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club, Barcelona goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, has made clear that whilst the club’s Supercopa de Espana defeat to the same opponents earlier this season isn’t a motivation for them, the result remains in their mind.
Athletic Club only just lost against Real Sociedad with the 2019/20 final having only been played in 2021, whilst Los Cules are looking to ensure their season doesn’t end without a trophy.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to win a title, the Supercopa isn’t a motivation for us, but we have it in mind and we hope that the same result won’t happen to us again,” Ter Stegen explained in his pre-match press conference.
“We were good until the 90th minute that day, but then we felt more tiredness, tomorrow we will be more rested. It will 100 percent be a difficult game, but we will be prepared.”
As ever, the Blaugrana head into the match as favourites, despite their recent poor record against the Basque club, and the German international feels that it’s going to be a much closer clash.
“I think it’s a 50/50 game, but if we do our job and maintain the performance we had before the break, we have a very good chance of winning,” Ter Stegen added.
“We have to play a complete game, it can be difficult but we aren’t going to think about anything that comes after the final. We aren’t thinking about LaLiga.”
Given the relatively diminished status of domestic cup competitions across the board in European football, Ter Stegen refutes the suggestion that even a win on Saturday won’t make up for a poor season.
“No, it’s a final and is independent of LaLiga, and if we win then we will have a very good feeling,” Ter Stegen continued.
“If you lose, then obviously you have the bad feelings. We know what we have ahead of us, we face 90 minutes to win a title.”