UD Ibiza are in the spotlight after drawing Barcelona in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey. Upon hearing the news, many sports fans were surprised as Ibiza is not a place known for their football team. The island, often perceived as a cheap and cheerful place to party, is a natural beauty hot spot. Additionally, there is an overlooked footballing culture and a strong sense of community among the island’s natives.
UD Ibiza to Meet Barcelona in Copa del Rey
Chance of an Upset
The Copa del Rey is the oldest cup in Spanish football after the competition began in 1903. As we all know, cup games can bring about unknown quantities. There is a beauty in the mystery of the cup ties. There could be a potential banana skin for big teams or the chance of a memorable giant-killing for the minnows. The chance to see stars like Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann make an appearance would be unbelievable for UD Ibiza. However, it is a level playing field for 90 minutes and there is always a small chance of an upset.
UD Ibiza, nicknamed the Sky Blues, are currently third in the Segunda División B. They will take comfort in having the home advantage at their stadium that is commonly known as Can Misses. The stadium’s capacity is 4,500, which is a stark contrast to Camp Nou that holds close to 100,000. Although the revenue from an away draw would surely be a boon to the club’s finances, a win against Barcelona would be priceless.
Ibiza’s head coach, Pablo Alfaro, is no stranger to Barcelona having made seven appearances for the club, scoring one goal. The former centre-back had a reputation of being ruthless on the pitch and is also a former team-mate of Quique Setién, the new Barcelona manager. The pair played for Racing Santander in the mid-90s and will look forward to an off the field reunion. Alfaro’s intelligence is somewhat overshadowed by his hard-man reputation and he will certainly look to be competitive in the draw, however difficult that it may seem.
Setién Will Be Hungry for Success
The tie will be Quique Setién’s first away game as manager of Barcelona. The small pitch and home advantage may help level the odds for UD Ibiza, who will be hopeful of a good performance. Their key man, Ángel Rodado, has 12 goals in 19 league games and will be key for the Sky Blues. In reality, it will be difficult for UD Ibiza but the chance to battle against the best will be motivation. On the other hand, Barça will want to win the Copa del Rey after missing out last year to Valencia. While there will be changes, UD Ibiza should not expect a completely weakened Barcelona team.