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"Visca Catalunya y Gora Euskadi" - FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao Request Santiago Bernabeu Final

In as much of a political gesture as a footballing decision, reports suggest that both FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will request that this season's Copa del Rey final is played in the Spanish capital at the Santiago Bernabeu

Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Here we go again! After meeting in the 2009 and 2012 finals, FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao will meet once again in the final of the Copa del Rey, after eliminating Villarreal CF and RCD Espanyol respectively in their semi-final ties last night. Of course, the Blaugrana have been in imperious form thus far this competition; becoming the first side in the tournament's history to reach the final off the back of eight consecutive victories. With 30 goals to their name in those eight wins, Barcelona are clearly the team to beat and Athletic Bilbao probably won't be all too confident of securing the trophy when the two sides clash in May.

However, they are obviously in with a chance and both clubs are keen for the match to be a huge spectacle, reflecting the importance of the trophy to each club and as a title within Spain. And with the contest to be played on neutral ground, what better venue than the next largest stadium in Spain: the Santiago Bernabeu.

According to reports from Diario AS, both FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao are to request to the RFEF that the final is contested at the Bernabeu, especially after being denied the chance to compete for glory there three years ago, when Real Madrid mysteriously claimed that important maintenance had been scheduled.

If granted, the Spanish government, and indeed the Spanish monarchy, will be looking on anxiously as both the Basque and Catalan fans would be likely to use the occasion as a platform for their ongoing battles for independence. The Spanish national anthem being whistled inside the largest stadium in the capital? It's a very real possibility and perhaps for that reason as much as any other, the request may be denied in favour of the Mestalla.

Still, we can dream, right?

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