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Mar 5, 2013

Atletico chief: Copa final will be in Madrid

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says he can "guarantee" that this season's Copa del Rey final between his side and city rivals Real Madrid will take place in the Spanish capital.

The week since Atletico and Real qualified for the decider - by beating Sevilla and Barcelona respectively - has seen a very Spanish 'morbo' style row break out via strategic leaks to the Madrid and Catalan media, with five potential venues and three possible dates in mid-May put forward, and each side seeking to gain any advantage possible.

Even Spanish national broadcaster TVE got involved in the public debate, as they were anxious for the game not to clash with the annual Eurovision song contest, which it also has the rights to show.

Cerezo's contribution was to say that he expected Real to stick to the deal agreed by both clubs decades ago to alternate home venues when they met in the final. That would see this year's game played at Atletico's Estadio Vicente Calderon, as their last final meeting was at Real's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in 1992, when Atletico won 2-0.

The long-time club executive and film producer told AS on Tuesday that, while the final decision on where to play the game would be made by the Federacion Espanola de Futbol (RFEF), he was sure the Calderon would get the nod.

"I can tell you that the Copa del Rey final will be played in Madrid," Cerezo said. "I can guarantee that to you. Logically, it is our turn here, to play it in the Vicente Calderon. I have not spoken with [Real president Florentino Perez], I do not have to. The federation organises the cup final. What everyone wants, with two Madrid teams in the final, is to play it in our own city."

Cerezo was also asked about a potential new contract for Atletico coach Diego Simeone, whose current deal expires in June. Marca reported this week that the arrival in Madrid of Simeone's sister Marta, who handles his affairs, was a sign that an agreement had been reached on a new four-year extension with improved terms for the Argentine and his backroom staff.

"We all know who the coach of Atletico Madrid is," Cerezo said. "There will be time for that. At the moment we have had all this stuff about the Copa final."

The time and date for the Copa decider is expected to be resolved after a meeting between representatives of the two clubs and the RFEF on Friday.

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