During the 1980 Copa del Rey final. Real Madrid faced one of their unlikeliest opponents, their own B-team.
Oct. 19, 2020, 4:47 a.m.
Real Madrid is one of the most famous football clubs in the world and is a club who needs no introduction. They have the most European accolades and have won many other trophies. But during the 1980 Copa del Rey final, they were in a tricky spot, when they faced their second team.
Copa del Rey is Spanish football’s equivalent of the FA Cup. It’s a domestic knockout competition where teams from the first tier of Spanish football (La Liga) and the regional leagues can compete. Although there are many conditions placed on the qualification of the regional league teams. And only the first and second-placed teams from the Tercera Division, the fourth tier of Spanish football, can take part.
Founded in 1903, it is the oldest football competition in Spain. The competition is held in very high regard amongst Spanish fans. Reserve teams have been barred from competing in the competition since the 1990-91 season, but that wasn’t always the case. Before 1990-91, reserve teams could compete in Copa del Rey. If a situation arose that a club might be facing its reserve side, the draw would be redone. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the 1979-80 edition, it wasn’t possible.
During the 1979-80 Copa del Rey, the teams competing in European competition weren’t allowed to enter early, which is why Real Madrid entered in the round of 16. RM Castilla, then known as Castilla CF, entered the competition in the first round. After beating teams like Extremadura, Alcorcon, and Hercules, Castilla reached the round of 16 where they faced Athletic Bilbao. They beat Bilbao 2-1 over two legs, and after winning against Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon, they entered the final. This is where they faced their parent team Real Madrid.
The final was held on 4 June 1980 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, home of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. Real lined up in their traditional all whites, while Castilla came out in purple. Just as expected, Real steamrolled past their B team. Goals from Juanito and Santillana put Los Blancos 2-0 up before half time. Further goals from Sabido, Vicente del Bosque, Francesco Garcia Hernandez, and another from Juanito put them 6 goals for the good. Castilla was able to take a consolation goal by Ricardo Alvarez in the 80th minute, and the final score was a remarkable 6-1. This cup run meant that Castilla could take part in the 1981-82 edition of UEFA Cup Winners Cup, where they would face West Ham United. Despite winning 3-1 in the first leg at the Bernabeu, they crashed out after 5-1 at Upton Park. They had two good cup runs in the 80s and reached the quarters in 83-84, 85-86 and 87-88. But they were unable to match the cup run of the 79-80. And with the new rules in place, it’s unlikely to happen again.