When Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao face off on Saturday, they will be playing for more than the Copa del Rey trophy.
Bilbao wants to remove the sting of losing the delayed final of the 2020 Copa del Rey played earlier this month against Real Sociedad at the same La Cartuja stadium in Seville. Barcelona needs to show Lionel Messi that this team, which coach Ronald Koeman has done his best to rejuvenate with younger players, can get back to winning titles right now as the Argentine mulls his future.
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Messi has remained silent on his plans come this summer when his contract expires since he stunned the club in August by saying that he wanted out following its first season without a trophy since 2008.
Koeman now has his team in the thick of the Spanish league title race, but the former Barcelona defender knows that the…