Atletico Madrid to host Barca-Bilbao Copa del Rey final
Madrid: The final of the Spanish Copa del Rey football competition will finally be played at Atletico Madrid`s Vicente Calderon Stadium.
The Calderon has been chosen by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to host the final between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona and the date for the final has also been confirmed for May 25.
The RFEF had managed two possible dates, May 20 and May 25, but May 20 would be impossible if Barcelona play the final of the Champions League May 19 in Munich.
Both FC Barcelona and Athletic Club had originally asked for the final to be played in Real Madrid`s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium but Real Madrid refused to cede their ground, alleging repair work will be taking place around the time of the final.
The general opinion is that Madrid President Florentino Perez doesn`t want to see possible celebrations from bitter rivals Barcelona in his club`s stadium.
Both Valencia`s Mestalla Stadium and the La Cartuja in Seville were also considered as venues, but la Cartuja was ruled out given its distance of over 800 kilometers from both Bilbao and Barcelona.
The Vicente Calderon has a capacity for 54,851 spectators, around 24,000 less than the Bernabeu and Atletico promise that the pitch will be in perfect condition despite a concert from the British group Coldplay, which will be held five days earlier.