Barcelona stunned as ex-Birmingham City flop matches Kylian Mbappe achievement

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Oriol Soldevila scored a stunning hat-trick for Intercity against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey (Image: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Oriol Soldevila scored a stunning hat-trick for Intercity against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey (Image: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Former Birmingham City midfielder Oriol Soldevila netted a stunning hat-trick for Spanish third tier side Intercity against Barcelona in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash.

Soldevila – who spent a year at the Midlands club without ever making a first-team appearance – sensationally netted three equalising goals for Intercity, who were only formed in 2017 and are battling relegation in the regionalised third division of Spanish football.

Barcelona eventually stumbled through the tie by winning 4-3 but were forced to play an extra 30 minutes of extra-time ahead of their testing La Liga clash against Atletico Madrid this coming weekend, with Ansu Fati netting the decisive goal.

Ronald Araujo, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha had given Barca the lead on three separate occasions against a team who they were expected to beat comfortably. Boss Xavi Hernandez fielded an almost full-strength team, with the likes of Jules Kounde, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Ferran Torres also played from the start.

However, they were stunned on three separate occasions by Intercity’s midfielder Soldevila – a previous youth-team player at Barcelona who represented the club up to Under-19 level – who netted a sensational hat-trick.

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That remarkable treble from Soldevila ensured he was the first player to score a hat-trick against Barcelona since Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe in the Champions League Round of 16 clash in February 2021, while he becomes the first Spanish player since former Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz in the Spanish Supercopa in 2015.

Barcelona stunned as ex-Birmingham City flop matches Kylian Mbappe achievementDespite Soldevila's and Intercity's incredible efforts, they were edged out in extra-time (Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Soldevila, clearly bursting with pride, told reporters after the match: "I've been a Barcelona fan ever since I can remember. I am a member too. This whole night was a dream for me. With the first goal I was happy, but with the second and third, I could not believe it.

"We had a very consistent match. They are world class players, who can mess you up at any time. We knew what we were up against and the level we needed. When it goes to extra-time, you are praying for penalties but it was not to be for us.

"The Barca shirt I initially wanted to ask for was Raphinha but now I will ask for is Arnau Tenas, who is the third keeper there (at Barca). He is my best friend in football, that's the one I want."

Barca boss Xavi was understandably frustrated after the match despite his side’s progression, telling reporters: "We cannot leave here happy. We lack forcefulness both in attack and in defence to finish games. We must improve."

Colin Millar

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