Osasuna are preparing to face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, hoping to lift their first ever major trophy in their 103-year history. The Pamplona-based club have reached the final for only the second time, after losing to Real Betis in 2005.
In his pre-game press conference, Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate said he was confident that his team can compete with the reigning Spanish and European champions, who have won 19 Copa del Rey titles. “We are very excited and motivated to play this final. We know it is a very difficult challenge, but we also know that we have a chance to do something unique and unforgettable for our club and our fans. We have to compete with courage, intensity and personality,” he said.
He added: “We have a lot of respect for Real Madrid, they are the best team in the world and they have a lot of quality and experience. But we also have our strengths and we have shown that we can play well against them. We have to be focused, solid and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Arrasate was also asked if he has any surprises up his sleeve for Ancelotti.
“Carlo is a specialist in winning finals,” Arrasate said. “I think we have more than analyzed each other. Rather than looking for a surprise, we each have to give our best version. It is difficult to surprise the rival. The only way to win is to play a perfect match”
Osasuna have had a remarkable run in the Copa del Rey, eliminating Gimnastic, Betis, Sevilla and Athletic Club. They have also had a good season in La Liga, where they are 10th in the table with 44 points. Their star player is Abde Ezzalzouli, a 20-year-old Moroccan winger who is on loan from Barcelona and has scored three goals and provided two assists in La Liga.