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Spanish Super Cup: Athletic, from final to final | sports | Sport Today Headlines

Spanish Super Cup: Athletic, from final to final | sports

On June 29, 1958, the World Cup final between Sweden and Brazil was played at the Rasunda stadium in Stockholm, in which the South Americans won (5-2) and the very young Pelé shone with his own light. That day, one of the line judges was a Bilbao, Juan Gardeazabal, the only Spanish referee who has whistled in three World Cups and who did not reach the fourth because he died months before the appointment of Mexico 1970, for which he was appointed.

That same day in 1958, almost at the same time, almost all Biscayans, except Gardeazabal, were waiting for something else. The Athletic players came out of their retirement in El Escorial heading to the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, where they had another date with history: the Cup final, in a very unneutral territory, against Real Madrid, who a few weeks before had won their third Consecutive European Cup.

After seven previous clashes, the one in 1958 was the last final between Athletic and Real Madrid. The team from Bilbao won it (2-0), with goals from Arieta and Mauri, who eliminated Di Stéfano’s team in just three minutes, from 20 to 23. The balance of victories leaned even more towards the rojiblancos (five by two) , and made Enrique Guzmán, president of Athletic, exclaim a phrase that is still remembered in Bilbao: “We have passed them through the stone with eleven villagers”. That team was made up of eleven Biscayans, born no more than 40 kilometers from San Mamés.

As strange as it may seem, Athletic and Real Madrid have let almost 64 years pass before they meet again in the final of an official tournament, and that the white team has been assiduous to those appointments and the history of Bilbao, although inferior, neither has been scarce. Since 2009, 13 years ago, he has played 10 finals. Athletic’s numbers attest to its competitiveness in knockout tournaments. He has won the last 13 he has played, and not all against lesser teams. On Thursday, Atlético de Madrid fell in the Super Cup; to get to last year’s and win it, Athletic left their rival on Sunday, Real Madrid, in the gutter. Two seasons ago, the Bilbao team eliminated Barcelona and Granada from the Cup –a two-legged game–, after knocking out Intercity, Sestao, Elche and Tenerife at home, to lose in the final against Real Sociedad; In the last edition of the Cup, they beat Ibiza, Alcoyano and Betis playing away from home, to beat Levante in a double game.

Athletic’s last three victories in the Super Cup have been against Madrid, Barça and Atlético, the winners of the last 17 leagues, and they are infallible in the semi-finals. He has won the last eight he has played. The last defeat dates from 2005, when he fell on penalties in San Mamés against Betis, who would later beat Osasuna in the final. The great semifinalist streak began in 2009, eliminating Sevilla with Caparrós on the bench; he continued in 2012. He left Sporting de Portugal in the penultimate step of the Europa League and Mirandés in the Cup; in 2015 he dropped to Espanyol. In 2019-20 they eliminated Granada in the Copa del Rey; in 20-21 against Levante, and also, in the Spanish Super Cup they beat Real Madrid and Atlético.

With these premises, the team led by Marcelino García Toral is aiming for its fourth official final in a year. Sunday will mark 364 days since the 2-3 win against FC Barcelona at La Cartuja in the Super Cup. Between the success against the Barça team and Sunday’s match against Real Madrid, two disappointments in the Cup finals that were in between. La Real and Barça lifted the trophy, more elusive to Athletic than the Super Cup that it defends in Riyadh.

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Cammile Bussière

One of the most important things for me as a press writer is the technical news that changes our world day by day, so I write in this area of technology across many sites and I am.

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