The Copa del Rey first-round draw in its new format has been made and, while Real Madrid will not enter until later in the competition, the 19-time winners should be paying close attention.
For a club of Los Blancos’ stature, the Spanish Cup will, of course, never be a priority.
It is unlikely to save Zinedine Zidane’s job either should the Frenchman find himself in a situation where he is fighting for his position — a very common battle at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, from the players’ perspective, it is a great chance to win silverware in a season where you would have to put them behind the likes of Liverpool and group rivals Paris Saint-Germain in the brawl for the Champions League trophy.
And with things so tight at the top of La Liga, it is looking like a season where Barcelona will once again have an opportunity to pip their rivals to the league title.
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Not wanting to end the term trophyless, the Copa del Rey offers Zidane’s side a chance to still win silverware should they find themselves faltering both in the title race and in Europe.
They have not won the competition since 2014, with Barcelona claiming the trophy four times since then (all in a row), which should serve as motivation.
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