Barcelona will tackle AD Ceuta FC within the Copa del Rey Spherical of 16 on Thursday, but it surely’s not simply your run-of-the-mill knockout match.
Slotted in because the away staff in opposition to the decrease division opponent, Barcelona shall be dealing with a prolonged journey south to compete for a berth within the quarterfinals.
Why is that notable? Effectively, these outdoors Spain could also be shocked to see a map of the nation and never discover Ceuta wherever on it!
That is as a result of Ceuta, a metropolis of about 85,000 folks, is not bodily positioned in Spain in any respect. The truth is, it is not even on the identical continent.
Ceuta, a membership established again within the Nineteen Fifties, performs its residence matches in a metropolis in North Africa that also competes within the Spanish soccer pyramid. The Sporting Information brings you all the data on why Barcelona have particular journey preparations to participate in a match in a novel location.
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The place is Ceuta?
Ceuta is an autonomous Spanish metropolis positioned on the northern tip of African nation Morocco. The town is positioned on the japanese fringe of the Strait of Gibraltar, with a inhabitants of about 85,000 as of the final depend in 2018.
An “autonomous metropolis” is in essence a principality, through which the neighborhood is ruled by Spain at massive however is commonly left to its personal self-governance with the assistance of “Statutes of Autonomy” which outline the powers that the town itself can fall again on.
Ceuta has been below Spanish management because it was ceded from Portugal within the Treaty of Lisbon in 1668. It is confirmed worthwhile as a buying and selling port for items resembling ivory and different African items.
Ceuta’s standing as a Spanish autonomous metropolis has been lengthy disputed by Morocco, as lately as October of 2022 after they challenged Spain’s authority within the metropolis, in addition to within the different Spanish autonomous metropolis of Melilla.
What league is AD Ceuta enjoying? Historical past of the membership
AD Cueta have been established as Membership Atletico de Ceuta in 1956 and are presently enjoying within the third tier of Spanish soccer.
Ceuta have by no means performed within the Spanish prime flight. They have been established within the second tier of Spanish soccer, however haven’t made it again to the second division after dropping down for good in 1968.
This season’s third-tier marketing campaign is their highest within the Spanish soccer setup since relegation from the third tier in 1970.
In 2007, Ceuta suffered by way of administrative relegation and closed its doorways for 4 seasons. The membership was absorbed by AD Cueta, which was solely established in 1996, however retained the unique membership’s historical past, crest, and background. It was renamed AD Cueta FC.
Barcelona have confronted Ceuta as soon as in historical past, successful 7-1 on mixture between the 2 legs, together with a 2-0 win at Ceuta. Pedro and Maxwell have been the 2 purpose scorers for Barcelona in that highway victory. A 23-year-old Lionel Messi performed 29 minutes off the bench within the second leg, scoring the fifth and remaining purpose for Barcelona.
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Barcelona journey to Ceuta: How lengthy is the journey?
Whereas Ceuta does have an airport, it is not outfitted to deal with passenger jetliners. It’s doable to fly helicopter to the airport, however that type of journey can be unwieldy for a whole soccer squad and its staffers.
As a substitute, the most typical technique of journey to and from Ceuta can be to fly in to Malaga after which take a ferry throughout the Strait of Gibraltar.
The flight from Barcelona to Malaga is about an hour and a half, after which a ferry trip which lasts about 5 hours. Alternatively, they may bus from Malaga to Gibraltar after which take the ferry from there, which might lower down on time afloat right down to about an hour.
Ceuta stadium: Estadio Alfonso Murube
The house floor for AD Ceuta FC is the Estadio Alfonso Murube. The stadium is called for a former participant of the membership who was killed in 1936 combating for the Nationalists through the Spanish Civil Battle.
The stadium opened in 1997 and has a capability of 6,500 folks. The grass area floor encompasses a enjoying area of 344 ft x 230 ft.
One notable occasion the stadium hosted previously was a Spain Below-21 match in opposition to Yugoslavia in April of 2002. The likes of Pepe Reina, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, and Mikel Arteta all performed in that match, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Spain.