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Why Barcelona have to win the Copa del Rey

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Victory will bookend another successful season

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Take a look at the picture above and what does it say to you?

Serial winner. A player for whom no game is ever lost.

Lionel Messi deserves another trophy in the cabinet for the work that he has put in across this season. Another campaign which is, at present, being judged solely by the abject failure at Liverpool.

Perhaps, in time, history will be kinder to this Barcelona side, particularly if they can win their second successive domestic double.

We are spoilt, let’s face it. This last 10 years has seen unprecedented success for the Blaugranes, to the extent now where most of us expect it.

I wonder if it’s those expectations that are working against the team on occasions? I mean, we all want to win - players, staff, supporters, you, me - but titles have to be earned, we don’t have a divine right.

In any event, I strongly disagree with those of you that have suggested they’d rather we lost the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

If we did, it’s highly unlikely to begin a chain of events which sees the removal of Ernesto Valverde, which I believe is behind that particular narrative.

We have a chance of making history - again. The only team ever to win five Copas del Rey in succession. Surely that means something?

It doesn’t mean that we forget about the Liverpool debacle, but we do need some ‘good news’ about the place. Something else to feel positive about.

Spare me the ‘it’s only the Copa del Rey’ BS too.

Before the ‘Messi era,’ we’d been in nine cup finals in 30 years, and on Saturday we’ll be in our ninth in the last 11 seasons.

We’ve worked hard to get to the showpiece again, and we’ll have an opponent in Valencia who will be right up for the fight and looking to win the first cup since their triumph the year before Barca’s epic recent run began in 08/09.

Regardless of anyone’s thoughts on Valverde in particular and Bartomeu/the board more generally, this group of players have proved beyond doubt, time and again, that they are winners. Serial winners.

There’ll absolutely be a time when this golden age will be a bygone era. When hoovering up silverware won’t come as easy as it does at the moment.

For Messi, for Pique and for every other player that has given their all this season - bar one (albeit huge) game, this is a must-win match.

This team, this club, cannot be defined by two near misses in Europe, but rather for the sheer amount of trophies won in what is, realistically, an incredibly short period of time.

Fingers crossed there are blaugrana ribbons adorning the cup on Saturday night.