Osasuna captain David Garcia said Saturday’s Copa del Rey final clash against Real Madrid may be the most important game he ever plays.
The defender watched Osasuna’s only previous cup final, a 2-1 defeat by Real Betis in 2005, from the stands as a childhood supporter of the club.
“For me it means everything, it could be the most important game of my career,” Garcia, 29, told a news conference Friday.
Madrid have won the Spanish cup 19 times and this is their 40th final, figures which expose the chasm between the two sides.
Garcia said watching Osasuna lose in extra-time against Betis 18 years ago left him with mixed feelings.
“It was a bittersweet taste because of the defeat, but I remember the atmosphere and so many years later, being here and playing in the final, imagine how excited I am,” added the Spain international.
Garcia insisted he and his team-mates had no fear of taking on the reigning Spanish and European champions at La Cartuja in Seville.
“We aren’t afraid of anything, an example of that is our progress in the cup,” continued Garcia.
“It’s clear the difficulty in front of us, the great individuals they have and (their quality) as a group, but we are focused on what we are, and our chances of winning.”
Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate said his team had to make Carlo Ancelotti’s side sweat.
“We have to be brave, take the essence of Osasuna to it’s peak, and make Madrid uncomfortable,” said Arrasate.
“It’s been a longer wait for us than for Madrid — we’ve had to wait 18 years for a final.”
Arrasate said he was already picturing victory.
“I think that for things to happen you have to visualise them, and I see David lifting the cup,” added the coach who, like Osasuna, has never lifted a major trophy.
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