At the height of a police investigation and suspicion of corruption, the Catalans reach the Copa del Rey semi-final against optimistic Andalusians • "Let's concentrate on football", Ronald Koeman promised • The opponent hopes not to lose the advantage (0: 2) from the first game: "Arrive enthusiastically"
Messi between his horse and Rakitić.
The flea likes to meet Seville
Barcelona are already getting used to the new reality - a season in which, in parallel with what is happening on the pitch, the action outside it does not stop.
And so while Ronald Koeman appeared at the press conference ahead of tonight's Champions League semi-final rematch against Sevilla and expressed optimism for completing a makeover (0-2 to Sevilla in the first leg), former Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu was released after a night in custody.
Bartomeu (who resigned in October) and his adviser Juma Sparra are at the heart of a Catalan police investigation into a contract they signed with a company to run a campaign to blacken his rivals in the presidential race, and against Leo Messi and Gerard Pique on social media.
This is a contract signed without the knowledge of management and raises suspicions of corruption.
"When the new one came out I felt bad because I know Bartomeu well and for me he has always been an exceptional person. Of course it is not good for the club's image but we can do nothing but just concentrate on football," said the surprised Koeman, adding: "There are things that cannot be explained." .
But now Koeman is trying to concentrate on the task of the trophy and hopes that Messi and the rest will rise as they did in the league game between the teams on Saturday, where Barça won 0: 2.
This time, it seems that Barcelona need at least four goals, as most of them think Sevilla will score at least one goal.
Restoration or revenge
Restoration or revenge
On the other hand, Sevilla coach Julen Luftaghi will try to maintain the advantage and reach the cup final.
The loss to Barça at home in the league led to media criticism in Sevilla, but perhaps it came as a wake-up call just in time.
"We are coming to Barcelona with a lot of enthusiasm and conviction that we have to make a big game against a big team. The Cup final is one of the most beautiful games in Spain," Lofti said ahead of arriving at the Camp Nou.
When asked about "Barça Gate" he added: "It does not raise or lower anything from the importance of the game. We are only talking about football."
The good news for Lofty is the return to the squad of the excellent Argentine Lucas Ocampus who has recovered from an injury.
Sevilla have a lot of tools on offense to surprise the landlady at Camp Nou, and do not want the 2019 nightmare to repeat itself.
So, also in the cup, she came to the Camp Nou with the same advantage and came out ousted and humiliated after a resounding 6: 1 defeat, when Ivan Rakitić - today in Sevilla - scored for the Catalans.
Tonight he will arrive in the white uniform and will be happy to knock the ex out of the King's Cup.