MADRID, May 4. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Barça and Real Madrid have passed the 2021-2022 Euroleague ‘Playoffs’ against the German Bayern Munich and the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv, respectively, and have qualified for the final assault on the title in the ‘Final Four’ that It will be played between May 19 and 21 at the Stark Arena in Belgrade. Now, both will meet in one of the semifinals in what will be the fourth Classic in an ‘F4’. We review the previous three.
1. 1996. The first time that the madridistas and the blaugranas met in an ‘F4′ was in the 1995-1996 season, when FIBA was still organizing the competition and under the name of the European Cup. Real Madrid, who had eliminated Olympiacos in three games, appeared in Paris as the defending champions, now without Arvydas Sabonis and with Pablo Laso in their ranks, and Aíto García Reneses’ Barça, who had got rid of Ulker in two clashes, in search of a new attempt to achieve European glory.
The semifinal began marked by the great start of the champion, who came to dominate by 15 points, at which point he got stuck before the defensive improvement of his rival who, led by Arturas Karnisovas (24 points) and Dan Godfread (22), tightened in defense to match everything before the break (34-38) and, after a great second half, they clearly took the victory by 76-66 and qualified for a final of unfortunate memories, with a 67-66 defeat against Panathinaikos and the remembered illegal stopper by Vrankovic on José Antonio Montero that deprived the Catalan team of victory.
2. 2013. It took almost 20 years for both teams to cross paths to the title, already with the Euroleague fully installed, then at the O2 Arena in London in what was the first of the seven that Pablo Laso has played as coach madridista and with Nikola Mirotic in the meringue ranks. The merengue team had won their ‘Playoff’ against Maccabi 3-0 and the culé had suffered against Panathinaikos, which led them to play all five duels.
The Madrid team took revenge for 1996 and beat the team coached by Xavi Pascual 67-74, thanks to a great quarter final where they signed a final run of 16-26 that allowed them to lift a match that had become complicated (61-52). In the final, on the other hand, despite clearly dominating at the start, Real Madrid were beaten by the Greek Olympiacos (100-88).
3. 2014. We didn’t have to wait that long to see another Clásico in the ‘Final Four’ since Real Madrid and Barça crossed paths the following season after beating Olympiacos in the ‘Playoffs’, in five games, and to Galatasaray, in three, respectively, to meet at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan.
In this case, there weren’t that many equalizers because Laso’s men put on a spectacular display against Pascual’s men, ending in a victory that was close to a 40-point lead (62-100). ‘Chacho’ Rodríguez (21 points) and Nikola Mirotic (19) were the best of a team that was ‘only’ winning by eight at the break (37-45) and that blew up the match in a great second half.