Can Real Madrid do us a favour?

Atlético can find themselves in a European spot with Real Madrid cup final berth

real madrid coach jose mourinho and atletico madrid coach quique sanchez flores

Quique conspiring with Mourinho? (Reuters)

Spanish paper AS reports that a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Copa del Rey final will open the door to Europa League qualification for la Liga’s seventh place finisher.

Los Blancos take a 1-0 lead into the Bernabéu on Wednesday evening as they host Sevilla in the second leg of the domestic cup semi-final. José Mourinho’s men are heavily favoured to emerge victorious in the clash.

Barcelona travel to Almería on the same night with a 5-0 advantage secured in the first leg. A comeback by los Almerienses seems well beyond the realm of possibility, so a Real Madrid vs. Barcelona final looks more than likely.

With Valencia drawing away at Racing in Cantabria yesterday, fourth place holders los Che are now 11 points clear from Atleti in the league table.

Consider that, as Radio COPE points out, ever since the rule allowing la Liga’s fourth place finisher to qualify for the Champions League playoff went into effect, no team has overcome an 11 point margin to take over the fourth place spot.

Following back-to-back losses in the domestic league competition, the Champions League now appears to be out of our reach. Our new objective is starting to come into focus: qualification into Europa League.

But we’ve already had a setback in achieving that new target after losing to Athletic, with Los Leones shoving us back five points from their sixth place position.

Even clamping down on the seventh spot in la Liga, which we currently hold, will be a challenge. Sevilla are level with us in points (30) ahead of the Week 22 fixtures. At our heels are Real Sociedad (28), Getafe (27) and Mallorca (27).

It will be a tough season-long battle with all of these clubs to situate ourselves in the league’s expanded European zone, but our prospects would instantly brighten with a mid-week Merengue triumph over Sevilla.

Obviously we don’t expect Rojiblancos to actually cheer for Real Madrid to win on Wednesday, but if they do finish off the Andalusians, let’s just take consolation in the fact that we have a better chance of UEFA tournament play next year if Sevilla are not the ones to make it through to the Spanish cup final.

We’ll have a chance to make up for any lingering guilt in the final, when we’ll be perfectly free to side with los Culés.

  • palc

    We’ll make it, but who the heck cares about Europa League? We’ve been there, and done that. Now lets move on to the Champions league..

  • Roni

    I’d rather see Sevilla flykick Real in the groin and win 10-0 and we end up in 17th place then playing the “prestigious” Intertoto cup. Seriously agree with palc, Europa league again? No thank you, rather focus on the league and take one of the 4 first spots.

  • To hell with Real and their favors!

  • Flo

    I agree with you guys. I don’t want a favour of any team, if we are do stupid to achieve it ourselfs.

    But Champions League football for us next season? No way!

  • Sergio Lopez

    Good article, by the way, but are we really so weak to let the things happen in the way that they are possible to happen? In this case do we really need such squad with highly-paid players, support from the fans or reputation, which was gained by the European victories this year… For what purpose we need to go forward & try our luck if we can just watch the others reaching the top, holding the Cups over their heads & receiving medals? For what purpose we need to do that? It’s a point of view of the weak. We must be strong in order to exist & win, but not to loose…

  • Martin Rosenow

    I feel that Champions League at this point is an unrealistic goal. Valencia are likely to beat Hercules at home this weekend and that would take them up to 44 points. If we lose to Barcelona, we would remain at 30.

    On the one hand, Europa League qualification means a little extra money for next season. But on the other, if we don’t make it, it will put the pressure on the fans to help oust the current board.

    In a perfect world, the board would be out and we’d make it into Champions, etc. In this cruel world of crappy directors and inconsistency by the team, the best we can hope for is Europa League next season.

    I’d rather play in that modest tournament than spend most of next season playing one league game per week.

  • Kaminero

    The speculation between Europa League and Champions League is purely intellectual unless we have a squad that can play succesfully in more than one competition during one season. Right now we don’t have that and the way things are going we won’t be getting that any time soon. Unfortunately.

  • Garymadrid

    Lads I cant believe that you would say that you would prefer to finish 17th than achieving Europa league football if Real and Barca meet. That is great attitude. Lets see if we dont get European football how long De Gea, Dominguez, Reyes and more importantly Kun sticks around. Sorry but in my opinion stupid comments and i am the most Anti Madridista fan there is but I support Atleti more than I hate Madrid. I suppose next you will say that we should just lie down and let Barca trash us? Are you really Atleti fans or just Anti Madridistas? Kaminero you make an excellent point and I agree completely with Martin. Flo, I would prefer that we do it ourselves but that is looking more and more unlikely. And Roni, the Intertoto cup no longer exists

  • SoLobo

    I totally agree with Garymadrid! Vamos Atleti! We need to qualify to the Europa League. Don’t underestimate it! We have won it and we have seen how wonderful it was! We are a team that belongs to Champions League, but what else can we do now?

  • Nick Poskitt

    Obviously I think they’re just exaggerating. I think everyone would take a Europa League place and definitely another Europa League win. Sevilla won the competition back-to-back and that didn’t seem to do them any harm.

    It’s frustration, we’ve been so inconsistent for so long now, we need a giant kick up the arse. We’ll get a caning on Saturday, we better take it as a motivational boost and not a kicking while we’re down.

  • Mert

    excellent points gary u changed my mind.

    however, it would really really suck to see mourinho beat barca in the copa. his ego would get too big for this planet

  • Ian

    I agree with this article.
    I don’t care who wins what as long as it somehow gives us a bit more chance for greater glory.
    Or in this case, the most realistic, europa league qualification.