After Messi, a reason for Barca to forget 1972

MADRID Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:17pm IST

Barcelona' Lionel Messi looks on during their Spanish First Division soccer match against Real Betis at Benito Villamarin Stadium in Seville December 9, 2012. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

Barcelona' Lionel Messi looks on during their Spanish First Division soccer match against Real Betis at Benito Villamarin Stadium in Seville December 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

MADRID (Reuters) - The year 1972 has been in the headlines for Barcelona after Lionel Messi overhauled Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old scoring record but it holds a different significance for Wednesday's King's Cup opponents Cordoba.

Barca's World Player of the Year Messi passed Germany striker Mueller's tally and set a calendar-year scoring record of 86 goals for club and country in 2012 with a double in a 2-1 win at Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday.

It is also 40 years since the Catalans last visited Cordoba.

"In sport anything is possible," said Carlos Gonzalez, president of second tier Cordoba. "But it will be very tough.

"Barca's second team could be runners-up in the league although we would have a better chance with them," he told reporters.

The Andalusian club, who host the last-16 first leg (1900 GMT) tie, played their penultimate top-flight match against title-chasing Barca before being relegated at the end of the 1971-72 season.

The game at the Arcangel stadium was a pivotal moment in the championship race that year.

Barca headed south, two points behind leaders Real Madrid who had a city derby at Atletico Madrid to contend with.

Atletico trounced Real 4-1 but an already-relegated Cordoba side that included current Spain coach Vicente del Bosque in their ranks, on loan from Real, stunned Barca 1-0.

The winning goal was a disputed 54th-minute penalty struck by another Real loan player Fermin who beat Barca's Miguel Reina, a Cordoba local and father of current Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe.

Real Madrid went on to win their final game against Sevilla to secure the championship while Barca slumped to a home defeat by Malaga.

DETAIN MESSI

Cordoba have not returned to the top flight since although they made the playoffs last season and are now mid-table in the second tier.

Although they surprised La Liga side Real Sociedad 4-2 on aggregate in the last round, they have suffered two defeats and three draws in their last five outings.

Asked about Barca forward Messi's goal-scoring run, Gonzalez joked: "We have tried to speak to the police to see if they could detain him".

Another second division side, Las Palmas, host Real Betis on Thursday when Levante also entertain Real Zaragoza.

New Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde celebrated his debut at the helm with a 1-0 win at struggling Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday and he returns to Pamplona looking for a repeat in Tuesday's first leg.

Under-pressure Real Mallorca coach Joaquin Caparros is seeking his first win in 13 outings when Sevilla visit on Wednesday, Atletico Madrid host near-neighbours Getafe and league champions Real travel to promoted Celta Vigo.

Third tier Eibar head off to San Mames to play last year's runners-up Athletic Bilbao for a delayed last-32 return match where they defend a 0-0 first-leg result.

The winners meet Malaga in the next round. (Editing by Julien Pretot)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cricket

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Angry Young Man

Angry Young Man

Barcelona's Pique relishing return of 'angry' Suarez.  Full Article 

Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games

Grenada’s James lights up Glasgow with emphatic 400 win.  Full Article 

Raising Cash

Raising Cash

Glazers to raise $150 million by cutting Man Utd stake.  Full Article 

Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

Cho named as new head of Pyeongchang 2018 organisers.  Full Article 

Time To Roar

Time To Roar

Firestone a perfect place for Tiger to salvage season.  Full Article 

Overseas Recruit

Overseas Recruit

Trezeguet signs up for Indian Super League.  Full Article 

On The Green

On The Green

Scott once again wary of challengers for the top spot.  Full Article 

Emotional Return

Emotional Return

I need a hug, says Scolari on Gremio return.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage