Copa del Rey 2013: El Clásico is back as the semifinals begin this week

Angel Martinez

Real Madrid and Barcelona face off again for the right to play in the Copa del Rey final while Atletico Madrid and Sevilla meet for the right to meet one of them...and probably lose to them.

Just because it's January doesn't mean that we can still get Christmas presents and whether you want to admit it or not, anytime Real Madrid and Barcelona meet, it's a big shiny soccer filled present. Admittedly many have soured on these El Clásico matches due to the fact that we've seen so many of them over the past couple years but in the end, it's two of the best teams in the world facing off...and that's a good thing.

In addition to that simple joy, this two leg match-up matter because the winner will get a chance to play for a trophy. Don't try to tell me that it's just a league cup and that's not a big deal, because it is. Teams care about the Copa del Rey, and fans care about it. Just because you've played a lot of Football Manager and your board doesn't rate it highly, doesn't mean it's a competition to be ignored.

This year's edition carries even more weight for Real Madrid because they really want to win, or at least that's what they've said in the press. They really want to win the Champions League too but with the league basically over, this is one of their two chances at silverware this season and gaining so level of redemption with their fans who are annoyed that Barca had the league wrapped up by Christmas.

In addition, if for some reason in case you think Barcelona doesn't care about this, they do. Barca enjoy winning trophies and they also enjoy denying their rivals chances to win trophies.

Basically put down your Haterade and get ready to enjoy another round of El Clásico excitement.

But wait! There's more.

Atletico Madrid faces off against Sevilla in the other semifinal as well. While this match-up will no doubt be overshadowed by El Clasico, it still should be a good battle. Atletico were hammered by Athletic Bilbao over the weekend and will likely still be without Radamel Falcao as he recovers from a hamstring injury. The door is open here for Unai Emery to make a splash in his return to Spain and get his new team in to a cup final.

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