Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Course for Copa Del Rey Final Meeting

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01:  Radamel Falcao (3dR) of Club Atletico de Madrid reacts defeated with his teammate Arda Turan (L) while Sergio Ramos (2ndL) of Real Madrid and his teammates Pepe (2ndR) and Mezut Ozil (R) celebrate scoring their second goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 1, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Last season's King's Cup final was contested by the two teams who have won it the most times—Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.

The chances are high that this season's could take a step down and be played out by the third- and fourth-most successful teams in the competition's history.

It could be a fiesta of madrisimo. Real versus Atletico.

Los Blancos' 2-0 lead over Valencia should carry them through to the semifinal, where they will meet either Malaga or Barcelona. With less impetus on the league, Mourinho's men may become a cup team.

Los Rojiblancos have the easier route. Already 2-0 up from the first leg against Real Betis, progress will see them encounter either Unai Emery's Sevilla or Manolo Jimenez's Real Zaragoza.

Should the showpiece bring together the capital's two biggest clubs, it won't be the first time they have met in the Copa del Rey final. Although with 45 final appearances between them since the competition's inception in 1903, you might expect them to have competed more than four finals against each other.

The first final between the two city rivals came at the end of 1959/60 season, which also saw Real Madrid win their fifth straight European Cup—no other side had won it at that point.

That wasn't about to get in Atletico's way, though, and as history suggests, they have the edge over Real in finals. Ferenc Puskas gave Real the lead in Chamartin, but following an injury to Francisco Gento, Atleti took over, winning 3-1.

The following year they were both back in the final—Puskas again on the score sheet, Alfredo Di Stefano this time too, but Atletico still stood strong and secured a 3-2 victory.

It was 14 years before they both progressed to another final together, the next time they did, Real Madrid picked up their only Copa del Rey final win over Atletico. The match, played in Valladolid, ended 0-0 allowing Real's keeper Miguel Angel the chance to be the hero in the penalty shootout.

Bernd Schuster and Paulo Futre goals dominated the next, and most recent, final the two have competed. Another red and white win—making it three wins in four finals—in 1992 took on extra significance due to the fact the 2-0 win came at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Diego Simeone and the legions of Atleti fans may feel that the timing is now right to take on Real Madrid in another King's Cup Final.

Without a win against the enemy since 1999, they currently sit second only to Barcelona in La Liga, seven points ahead of the white side of the Spanish capital.

In Radamel Falcao they have a poster boy. IOn the likes of Arda Turan, Filipe Luis, Koke and more they have the perfect supporting cast—many of whom continue to slip under the radar.

Real Madrid, led by Cristiano Ronaldo and managed by Jose Mourinho, have a team full of expensive global superstars, and should the banquet of an all-Madrid final be bestowed on us, it could prove a feast.