Andres Iniesta Sets Timeframe on Future Announcement Following Copa del Rey Win

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has clarified he will make the decision over his future public next week, after adding yet another winner’s medal to his collection this weekend. 

The 33-year-old played a pivotal role in Barça’s fourth successive Copa del Rey win on Saturday evening, with an utterly stunning goal epitomising his side’s showing during their 5-0 victory over Sevilla. 

The Spain international, who has been a feature at the Camp Nou since 1996, was clearly moved as he was replaced by Denis Suarez late on, with the entire Wanda Metropolitano rising to its feet to applaud him off the pitch. 

And on what was another famous night for the Catalonians, Iniesta revealed after the game (via ?Calciomercato) that next week will hold the answer to the question many have been asking this season. 

“It has been a day full of many emotions”, the iconic midfielder said. “I am happy to be able to give my club another title. 

(You may also like: ?Philippe Coutinho Claims Barcelona ‘Always Need to Play Like This’ After Thumping Sevilla)

“Now we want to win the league championship for us and our people. As a person and as an athlete, the love shown to me by everyone is priceless. Next week I will make the decision on my future public.”

It is heavily expected that Iniesta with swap LaLiga for the Chinese Super League at the end of this campaign in a big-money deal, with Gong Daxing, chairman of the sponsors for Chinese club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, telling the state-run Xinhua news agency, as quoted by ?Sky Sports, he believes the move will happen. 


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“I am positive on introducing Iniesta”, he said. “Iniesta’s arrival would be beneficial for Chongqing and a great bonus for our brand.”

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Philippe Coutinho Claims Barcelona ‘Always Need to Play Like This’ After Thumping Sevilla

Phillippe Coutinho has claimed that he and his Barcelona teammates need to always play like they did against Sevilla on Saturday, as they ran out 5-0 winners and cruised to a 30th Copa del Rey. 

A brace from Luis Suarez and goals from Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta and Coutinho himself secured the win, as the Spanish league leaders won the first part of an expected domestic double.

After the victory, Coutinho revealed via Sport English : “I’ve always said it was my dream to play here and win titles. This is my first title with Barcelona and I leave here very content.

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“Valverde wanted us to be on it from the first minute and we had a great first half. We have to be as on it as we were in this game every game.”

When asked what it’s like to play with Iniesta, who ?is expected to announce his departure from the club imminently, Coutinho stated: ” It’s an honour for me to be with him in the dressing room and on the pitch.”

Coutinho signed for Barcelona in January from Liverpool. Despite it looking like he was leaving for European success, Liverpool have managed to progress further than Barcelona in the Champions League, as Barca were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Roma following a great comeback from the Italian side.

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However, domestically Barcelona have dominated and will be looking to add La Liga along with the Copa del Rey this season. They sit top of La Liga and are 12 points ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid.

With five games left of the season, Barcelona will be looking to go a whole season unbeaten in the league.

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Sevilla 0-5 Barcelona: Barca Win 30th Copa del Rey Final in Sensational Rout of Sevilla

Barcelona are Copa del Rey champions yet again after beating Sevilla 4-0 on Saturday to lift the trophy for the 30th time in their history

?The Primera Division leaders went in as the heavy favourites, having nearly wrapped up the league title. They had also beaten Sevilla in six of their last seven finals in all competitions.

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Vincenzo Montella, meanwhile, was looking for his first major trophy as a coach. And he knew he was in for the biggest challenge of his managerial career.

It wasn’t long before La Blaugrana took the lead, however, going ahead in the 14th minute through a superb 60-yard punt from Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen that fell to Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian played a pass across the goal to find Luis Suarez for an easy finish.

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Sevilla tried getting in a response moments later, but Joaquin Correa failed to connect properly after attempting to volley Franco Vazquez’s pass goalwards and made a complete mess of things.

The Catalan side would punish that error in the 30th minute, doubling their lead after a bit of magic from Jordi Alba, who played a cheeky one-two sequence with Andres Iniesta before hitting a backheeled pass to Lionel Messi from the byline. The diminutive No. 10 finished with aplomb, striking with his left foot to hand Barca a 2-0 advantage.

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The lead turned into 3-0 ten minutes later, with Messi threading a sublime through ball for Suarez to run onto. The former Liverpool striker only needed one touch to sort things out, shooting low past the keeper with an accurate strike and opening up a seemingly insurmountable lead to head into halftime with.

Barcelona extended their lead even further early in the second half, getting another goal to take the scoreline to 4-0 through a sensational strike from Iniesta on minute 53. 

The Spaniard, possibly playing in his last final for the Camp Nou side, was found by Messi in the box with a great leading pass which he lightly touched past the keeper before scoring from quite a tight angle.

By then, the game was out of Sevilla’s reach, but Barca continued pressing in search of more goals. And score again they did, as Coutinho got in on the act with a penalty after actually scoring but being ordered to take a spot kick instead as the whistle had already gone before the ball hit the back of the net.

Montella’s side would hardly get a chance to even maintain prolonged possession of the ball as the Primera Division champions elect kept piling on the pressure.

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final

Iniesta was taken off with two minutes of the 90 to go, receiving an effusive ovation from both sets of supporters, effectively signalling that the end of his illustrious Barcelona career was near.

There would be no stoppage time, with the officials putting Sevilla out of their misery at the soonest, leaving Barca waiting to lift the Copa del Rey trophy for the fourth successive season and the 30th time overall.


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Lineups

Barcelona XI: Cillessen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez.

Substitutes: Ter Stegen, Vermaelen, Semedo, Paulinho, Denis, Dembélé, Alcácer.

Sevilla XI: Soria; Navas, Mercado, Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Banega; Sarabia, Vázquez, Correa; Muriel.

Substitutes: Rico, Carriço, Layún, Pizarro, Nolito, Sandro, Ben Yedder.

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‘He’s Ready’: Real Madrid Legend Luis Figo Links Inter Striker With Summer Move to the Bernabeu

??Real Madrid legend Luis Figo has declared that Internazionale striker Mauro Icardi is ready to play for Los Blancos.

The Champions League holders are understood to be in the market for a top centre forward in the summer, as they look to bring in someone to compete with Karim Benzema, and are eyeing several targets across Europe.

Real Madrid v Athletic Club - La Liga

The likes of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane are thought to be two of the club’s targets, while a move for Inter’s Icardi could be on the cards as well.

The 25-year-old has been one of Europe’s best strikers over the last few seasons and has bagged 25 goals in 29 appearances for the Serie A side so far this season. There have been links with the Spanish giants and Figo has set tongues wagging after claiming the player is ready to play for a club as big as Madrid.

“If he is ready for Real? Great players like him can adapt to any situation,” the former midfielder told Sky Sports Italy (H/T ?Calciomercato) in an interview.

UEFA Match For Solidarity Press Conference

(You may also be interested in: ?Inter Open Talks With Real Madrid Over Former Midfielder Linked With €30m Serie A Return)

“He has the qualities to play in any team. His future depends on the ongoing project at Inter and the financial condition of the club and it also depends on the will of the player.”

The former star also expressed a desire to see the Nerazzurri return to playing in the Champions League.


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“It is important for them to reach the Champions League,” he added. “Because Inter has been without the Champions League for too much time now and that is not positive.”

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Sevilla Boss Claims Messi Is ‘An Alien’ Ahead Their Copa del Rey Final Clash With Barcelona

?Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella has claimed Lionel Messi is ‘an alien’ ahead of their Copa del Rey final Clash with Barcelona on Saturday evening.

Barcelona will be looking to defend their trophy they won last year and will be looking to take a step closer to completing a league and cup double in what has so far been a dominant season for the Catalans.

Celta de Vigo v Barcelona - La Liga

They currently sit 12 points clear at the top of La Liga with just five games remaining and haven’t lost a single game all season, needing just four more points to guarantee the league title.

As for Sevilla, they currently sit in seventh and are three points off a Europa League qualification place, meaning this will be their last chance of silverware this season after being dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich in the quarter finals.

Sevilla FC Training And Press Conference

Speaking ahead of the final (via the ?Daily Mail), Montella accepted Sevilla’s status as the underdog heading into the game however revealed he still believes his side can cause an upset on the night should they limit Messi’s impact on the game.

He said: “Barcelona are a great team, as we have seen in La Liga. They have almost won it, so they are favourites, but we have to think about ourselves and our attitude and quality and skills. We have to think how to face Barcelona that way.

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“I also think that Messi is an alien. I hope he will be that high tomorrow instead of on the Earth.

“We have to try to avoid him receiving the ball. We’ve seen that it is possible to win against Barcelona, but for this to happen we have to be focused throughout the whole game and not lose concentration at any moment.”


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It will be a replay of the 2016 Copa del Rey final where Barcelona won 2-0 thanks to two extra time goals from Jordi Alba and Neymar, although both sides have since evolved. 

In their last meeting, 88th and 89th minute goals from Messi and Luis Suarez were enough for Barcelona to salvage a very late point, and we’ll certainly be hoping for similar drama come Saturday night!

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