Barcelona seek redemption with Copa del Rey title

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde
Updated 24 May 2019
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Barcelona seek redemption with Copa del Rey title

BARCELONA: Although Barcelona is still smarting from its collapse at Liverpool two weeks ago, the team has another cup final to play in this weekend.

The Spanish champions can complete a second straight domestic double when it faces Valencia on Saturday in the Copa del Rey final.

“It’s the last game of the season and we need to win so we can go on vacation with a better feeling than the one we had after the match against Liverpool,” Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet said. “That’s why we want to win this final.”

Barcelona has won a record 30 Copa del Rey titles, including the last four, but it was eliminated from the Champions League by Liverpool after blowing a 3-0 lead from the first leg.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde could have a lot riding on the outcome of the game against Valencia, which will be played on neutral turf in Seville.

We cannot knock this Copa. After the Copa we will be able to draw conclusions on how to improve and aspire to win it all in the coming seasons.

Josep Bartomeu, Barcelona president

While Valverde has had an almost impeccable record in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey since taking charge two years ago, many Barcelona fans now doubt he can win it all in Europe. So while another cup is almost expected by Barcelona’s supporters, a loss to Valencia would increase the pressure on the club to consider a coaching change.

Knowing his coach is under scrutiny, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said Thursday that the club “completely backs Valverde.”

“We cannot knock this Copa,” Bartomeu said. “After the Copa we will be able to draw conclusions on how to improve and aspire to win it all in the coming seasons.”

Barcelona will play without striker Luis Suárez, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury in his right knee following the loss to Liverpool. Suarez scored 25 goals for Barcelona this season, second only to Lionel Messi and his 50 goals.

Forward Ousmane Dembele is also out with a muscle injury, while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen will most certainly keep his starting job after the club said Marc-Andre ter Stegen has pain in his right knee and will not be available.

Valencia has had a very strong second half of the season. It surged up the league standings to finish fourth and earn a Champions League berth, and it reached the Europa League semifinals before losing to Arsenal.

It will be seeking its eighth Copa del Rey title and first since 2008.

“(Valencia) is a very compact, solid team, with a strong defense, a talented goalkeeper, which transitions very quickly to attack with players who take advantage of open spaces,” Lenglet said. “We have to be very careful with Valencia because it is very dangerous.”


Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

Updated 16 June 2019
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Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

  • The electric cars competition will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E event
  • Fourteen such events are scheduled in 12 cities on four different continents

RIYADH: FIA World Motor Sport Council revealed on Saturday that the 2019 Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix will kick off the new season on Nov. 22 and 23, 2019, on the outskirts of Riyadh.

The electric cars competition, organized by the FIA and the Saudi Arabia General Sport Authority (GSA), will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E competition, out of 14 organized in 12 cities on four different continents including, Santiago, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Berlin, New York, and London and Seoul, which were recently added.

Alberto Longo, vice CEO of Formula E, said that the upcoming season will be one of the most exciting in the short history of the competition.

He also welcomed Mercedes Benz and Porsche to the list of competitors, and Seoul and London to the competition’s venues.

He said that the present season is about to end with three more rounds to go, and that there is a fierce competition for the title.

CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

● Nov. 22: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Nov. 23: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Dec. 14: TBA

● Jan. 18, 2020: Santiago, Chile

● Feb. 15, 2020: Mexico City, Mexico

● March 1, 2020: Hong Kong, China

● March 21, 2020: TBA — China

● April 4, 2020: Rome, Italy

● 9 April 18, 2020: Paris, France

● 10 May 3, 2020: Seoul, S. Korea

● 11 May 30, 2020: Berlin, Germany

● 12 June 20, 2020: New York, US

● 13 July 25, 2020: London, UK

● 14 July 26, 2020: London, UK