Pep Guardiola’s four trophy-laden seasons as Barcelona coach come to an end in the Copa del Rey final – and his players will want to ensure he bows out on a high on Friday night.
Athletic Bilbao are the opponents in Atletico Madrid's Vicente Calderon stadium in a showdown that pits the two most successful teams in the competition's history against each other (Match Betting - Barcelona 1/3 Stan James
, Draw 11/2 BetVictor
, Athletic Bilbao 19/2 BetVictor).
It is also a clash between two sides who will be looking to put recent disappointments behind them. Barca have surrendered both their La Liga and Champions League titles, while Athletic lost the Europa League final to Atletico Madrid in Bucharest.
However, much of the focus will be on Guardiola and whether Barcelona can end the 41-year-old's record-breaking reign with yet more silverware.
Since taking charge in 2008, Guardiola has guided Barca to 13 trophies - two Champions League crowns, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.
That stunning run of success started with a Copa del Rey final victory over Athletic Bilbao and Barca's players would love to finish Guardiola's tenure in symmetrical fashion.
Andres Iniesta said: “We will give everything to win the cup and finish these four years with a smile. This is our objective, we are not thinking about losing.”
In the 2009 final, Barca claimed a 4-1 win to clinch a record 25th Copa del Rey crown - two more than Athletic.
A repeat of that scoreline would not be a huge shock and it can be backed at 16/1 with Betfred
Barca know they will have their work cut out though, with Athletic having impressed hugely in their first season under Marcelo Bielsa.
Iniesta added: “It will be a very even match. Athletic play with a lot of intensity and have adapted the ideas of their coach very well. They will demand a lot of us, so we will need to think quickly on the pitch.”
Iniesta, seeking his first Copa success having been injured in 2009 and on the losing side against Real Madrid last season, also warned of the threat posed by his Spain international team-mate Fernando Llorente.
“He is a great player. He has been getting better every year and when he has a chance to score he takes it,” Iniesta said.
Guardiola, who will be replaced by his assistant Tito Vilanova this summer, will be forced into a defensive reshuffle for the final with Carles Puyol, Dani Alves and Eric Abidal all missing, as is striker David Villa.
Athletic coach Bielsa, meanwhile, has named a 26-man squad for the trip to the capital, including Ander Iturraspe and Ander Herrera, who were both struggling with illness earlier this week.
The Europa League final defeat to Atletico was a bitter pill for Athletic to swallow, but midfielder Oscar de Marcos told El Mundo Deportivo: “We have learned many things (from the match), we have seen what we did badly and analysed the game with the coach. We have seen all the mistakes and we hope not to commit them again.
“We are convinced we can win the Copa. Of course it will not be easy, we know who we are playing against, but we will not go out thinking we will lose.”