Iniesta, Valdes To Make Cup Final Debuts

Barcelona appeared in the Copa del Rey final as latest as 2008, where they won 4-1 against Athletic Bilbao but strikingly, a third of the squad have not played the cup final for Barca.

Maxwell, Jeffren Suarez, Andreu Fontas, Victor Valdes, Andres Iniesta and two of the recent signings, Javier Mascherano and Ibrahim Afellay could all make their cup final debuts in Valencia against Real Madrid.

In 2008, ten players from the current squad were involved in the final: Jose Manuel Pinto, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Seydou Keita, Lionel Messi and Pedro.

Valdes was on the bench, Iniesta and Gabriel Milito missed through injury and Eric Abidal through suspension. Abidal will also miss this year’s final as he’s still recovering from his surgery just over a month ago.

Iniesta received an untimely muscle injury to his right thigh during the final minutes of the Barcelona-Villarreal match which prevented him from playing in the final. He reappeared for Barca, however, in Rome to take part in the UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United.

David Villa and Adriano (this season’s signings) are still to make an appearance in the cup final in a Barcelona shirt but they have played the Copa del Rey final for their previous clubs before (Valencia and Sevilla respectively). In addition, they have both won all the finals they played in.

It’s a similar story with Milito; he was injured in 2008 but won the 2004 cup final with Real Zaragoza.

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