Alaves dreaming of reviving past glories
MADRID - Reuters
Led by Argentinian star Lionel Messi (R), Barcelona visits Alaves tonight. AFP photoAlaves has fallen on hard times since losing 5-4 to Liverpool in a thrilling UEFA Cup final in 2001 and the Basque club has a chance to revive past glories when it hosts holder Barcelona in the King’s Cup tonight.
Now down in Spain’s third tier after slipping into financial administration, Alaves’s typical opponents these days include the B teams of several top-flight sides rather than the giants of European football.
While fans gathered at the Vitoria-based club’s Mendizorroza stadium for tonight’s last-32, first leg against Barça will be looking forward to seeing Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta in the flesh, coach Natxo Gonzalez has issued a warning to his players.
“Against an opponent like that you cannot enjoy yourself,” Gonzalez said. “If you go out and try to enjoy playing Barça they’ll put 10 goals past you.
The last time Alaves faced Barcelona in the King’s Cup was when the team suffered a 5-2 aggregate defeat in January 2007.