Football

Barcelona vs Logroño Copa de la Reina final: Is the shock of the century on the cards?

Logroño aim to pull off the biggest surprise in women's Spanish Cup football history against the rampant Catalan giants. Here's who to watch and how.

By Ken Browne ·

Excitement is building for Spain's Copa de la Reina 2019/20 women's football final, which is set to take place on Saturday 13th February 2021 between Barcelona and Logroño.

Postponed because of the coronavirus, we're finally going to have a winner of last season's Queen's Cup.

And a classic cup final storyline awaits: Barça play their seventh final in ten years while las riojanas have made their first Spanish Cup final ever.

Logroño aim to add a fairytale ending to the rush of their incredible cup run by slaying the Catalan giants.

The odds are against that happening as Barcelona are the most successful women's football team in Spain and are in record-breaking form this season, with sights firmly set on lifting their seventh Copa.

Barça's eye-wateringly perfect 2020/2021 season so far reads: Played 15, won 15, scored 78, conceded 3.

Contrast that with their final opponents' record. They have played 17 and managed just three wins and four draws this campaign as they hover around relegation danger and you get an idea of the size of the challenge facing the underdogs.

But it's a final, and anything can happen in a final.

Read on to find out when it happens, where, what time, plus who and how to watch.

Copa de la Reina Final: When, where, and what time

The postponed 2019/20 women's cup final will happen on Saturday 13th February 2021 in Malaga's La Rosaleda stadium in the south of Spain at 5:30pm Spanish time, or CET (GMT+1).

Women's Spanish Cup final preview

With defending league champions Barcelona first and Logroño currently 14th in la Liga de Futbol Femenino, this one is stacked in favour of the blaugranas.

Barcelona FC's Camp Nou stadium has a capacity of almost 100,000 people - you could fit two-thirds of the entire population of the city of Logroño in it.

The team from La Rioja region in northern Spain are dreaming of their first Queen's Cup triumph ever, and if they can pull it off it'll send shockwaves through the women's game.

For a long time it looked like we might never have a winner for this competition, the quarter-finals were played on the 25th and 26th of February last year - a lifetime ago when the world was learning the term Covid-19.

Then, women's football in Spain was put in a state of prolonged postponement, and the semi-finals didn't happen until eight months later on the 7th and 8th of October.

In those semi-finals, Barcelona battered Sevilla 6-0 and Logroño squeezed past Athletic Bilbao on penalties (3-1) after going the distance at 0-0.

In the final, expect Barcelona to dominate and keep the lions share of possession while the team from La Rioja hold a low block and try to hit on the break, punish any mistakes and take their chances from set-pieces or counter-attacks.

As a prelude to the final, Barça and Logroño met in the league on Saturday 6 February - a week before the Copa showpiece - Barcelona winning by goals from Vicky Losada and French midfielder Kheira Hamraoui.

Logroño kept their rivals at bay for much of the match, Barcelona had long spells of possession and scored one in the first half and one in the second half to take all three points.

But both managers, Lluis Cortes and Javier Moncayo, kept their cards close and rested key players, meaning we should see two significantly changed sides in La Rosaleda.

After the game, 23-year-old Logroño defender Marta Cazalla was happy, saying, "you could see that we were well organised and we stood up to Barça."

Who to watch in the Copa de la Reina final

Barcelona is a team packed with internationals, the Catalan club provides the backbone of the Spanish national team - nine Barça players are currently in the Spain squad.

Jenni Hermoso is one. She has 87 international caps and 37 goals to her name, and is a leader and match-winner for both club and country.

Another is Alexia Putellas who's just turned 27. Last season she totted up ten Liga goals and eight assists (and could add to that tally on Saturday), while this year her net gains are on the rise with nine goals and four assists in just 15 matches.

Keep an eye too on rising stars 24-year-old Mariona Caldentey and 22-year-old Patri Guijarro, part of a generation that we'll see in a Spanish shirt on World Cup and Olympic stages soon.

But one of Barça's most thrilling talents isn't from Spain.

Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala has scored 33 goals in 32 games since she joined Barcelona in 2019. She's also just been named the Best African Woman Player of the last decade by the IFFHS and was in the shortlist for the UEFA Women's team of the year.

Aiding and assisting Oshoala from the right wing is Norwegian Caroline Graham Hansen whose form has exploded since she joined the Catalans in 2019.

She was signed after her performances for Norway at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France and repaid the faith with 11 assists and 6 goals in 12 games.

The way she dribbles from the right, breaks at pace, beats players one-on-one to either send pinpoint accurate crosses to teammates or ping powerful shots on goal, all make her one of the most electrifying talents in the game right now.

In defence, Barcelona haven't conceded a goal in over a thousand minutes of football and that's largely thanks to the central pairing of María Pilar León and Andrea Pereira alongside stand-out left back Leila Ouahabi.

For Logroño, it's all about team effort and togetherness, working for each other and playing to the plan to overcome the individual superiority that Barcelona have.

But standouts for the riojanas include seasoned Danish central midfielder Julie Tavlo, homegrown 24-year-old midfielder Carol Marín and Chini Pizarro who leads the defence.

A lot will rest on the shoulders of goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar, the Mexican custodian has extra motivation in the final, she moved to Logroño in 2020 from her ex-club - Barcelona.

So who could nick a historic winning goal for las riojanas?

Ghanaian goal-getter Grace Asantewaa and Spain-born Equatorial Guinean striker Jade Boho both have what it takes to be the player of the match on Saturday.

Copa de la Reina final: How to watch on TV and live stream

The final will be broadcast on Spanish channel Teledeporte or TDP within Spain.

They also provide a live stream on their website here. Territorial restrictions apply.