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19th Oct 2018

Real Madrid set to play Copa del Rey match in Africa

Simon Lloyd

Real Madrid face a visit to Africa in the Copa del Rey

The European champions have been drawn to play UD Melilla, who play in  the Segunda División B – the third tier of Spanish football, in the last 32 of the competition.

Melilla is a small Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Morocco and is home to just 86,000 inhabitants – not even enough people to fill the Santiago Bernabeu.

Melilla will host Real in the first leg of their tie on October 31, playing the second leg in the Spanish capital on December 5.

By then Real will hope to have ended their current run of poor form. Prior to the international break, they lost to a stoppage time goal from Deportivo Alavés’ Manu Garcia. Not only was the 1-0 loss their first defeat at the Mendizorrotza Stadium in nearly 90 years, but the game also saw pass 400 minutes without scoring a  goal – their worst run since April 1985.

Real’s recent results have seen the pressure mount on new manager Julen Lopetegui, with some reports suggesting Florentino Perez may already have started to look for a possible replacement.

Elsewhere in the Copa del Rey draw, La Liga champions Barcelona, also the current cup holders, were drawn against third division Cultural Leonesa while Atletico Madrid  were pitted against Sant Andreu of the fourth tier of Spanish football.