SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 17: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Ander Capa of Athletic Club de Bilbao battle for the ball during during the Supercopa de Espana Final match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Estadio de La Cartuja on January 17, 2021 in Seville, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Rayo Vallecano – Barcelona in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey is surrounded by stories. Chance has wanted this game to be played between the two most important clashes of the season for the franjirrojos (last weekend against Mallorca and the one that comes against Espanyol, both in direct promotion positions), but the illusion all can.

In the preview of this historic meeting for Vallecas, we chatted with those in charge of stopping Messi. Two players, Alejandro Catena and Mario Hernandez are completing a spectacular season and have the greatest challenge of all before them. In fact, Catena himself is clear about it, it is the most important game of his career.

Because of the rival that is possibly the most important and beautiful of my career. And be careful, this format favors lower category teams more, explains the center-back. If you win this game you will be in the quarterfinals until the final there are three more games. For lower-category teams, it is a plus and an advantage that the format gives us. We have to take advantage of it adds his partner.

And it is that Messi arrives at the Madrid neighborhood after serving his two penalty games and with a lot of desire. The question is clear: How do you stop Messi? I don’t know if Mario will have a secret formula. Trying to know what he does well and his strengths but in this case, there are quite a few. He has something, you have to get annoying laughs, Alejandro Catena.

He will come with more desire than usual even, but like him, they will all come. It’s that they are all very good. Indeed, Messi is there, but there will be 10 others who are going to make it very difficult for us. We have to try to make them have their worst game.

keep going. Mario Hernandez, a winger and used to dealing with fast and skilled wingers, is clear about it: You know what he is going to do to you and he does it to you. He is a player at another level. We are going to try to stop him and give everything to make it his worst possible match.

Catena and her love affair with the King’s CupThat of Alejandro Catena with the Copa del Rey is a beautiful and curious story. Last year he was in charge of eliminating Betis by transforming the final penalty and in this edition he has already challenged himself with Navalcarnero, the club where he played and with which he wants to see himself in the final.”I signed the Cup final with Navalcarnero.

Whoever it is, but if it is with Navalcarnero better. Last season the best moments we experienced were in the Cup. Against Betis, it was spectacular with the fans and an incredible bond. Then Villarreal eliminated us, but the team stood up to top teams, he says excitedly.

The season that Catena is completing is to frame. It sounded for First Division teams like Getafe, but finally, he stayed at Rayo. and he is playing everything. 21 starting games in the League of 21 possible and all complete. He is the true kaiser of the Rayista rear and now he is going for the most difficult yet. In fact, nothing is trusted in this Barcelona.

Come at a better or worse time, Barcelona is Barcelona. In the end, it doesn’t matter. They are a great team. It’s not going to be easy, even if they were in the worst moment of years he confirms. Mario Hernandez, a dream come to true Mario Hernandez, however, is very different.

The young right-back, who just turned 22, did not know a few months ago or if he was going to stay at the franjirrojo club. Canterano del Rayo worked and worked until he convinced Andoni Iraola and now he is a regular. It is a very beautiful experience. Many have not played against Barcelona yet and we are going to go all out to try to beat them. You are excited to face the best team in the world or one of the best. It is the best that remained in the raffle.

But we face it in the same way as if it were another. The only pity is that the public is not there. One game, in Vallecas, against Barcelona it would be incredible with fans, he says.

This year for me is being magical. I didn’t even know if I was going to stay at the beginning of the season. And to stay and be important, playing against Barcelona, whether you start or not these are experiences that you have forever he continues. Alejandro Catena himself recounts, laughing, the joy they feel inside the locker room when seeing such young people stand out and make a hole.

He behaves well, he behaves well. From inside the locker room, we are happy for him and for people like him That he has worked without having anything fixed and stable. Seeing him on the team and being important gives us a lot of joy. It is something very beautiful. Almost all of us come from below and seeing these things is very nice.

They think that something great can be done they say they do not love another rival. They would not change the game against Barcelona for anything and they are very clear that they can do something great this Wednesday. And they do not hide. Shall we make a baton? We propose. 1-0, says Mario Hern√°ndez. 2-1 in extra time, says Alejandro Catena. Although some penalties for you would be good, from the inside Mario’s 1-0 better,¬† he laughs.