Speaking after Athletic Club’s Copa del Rey semi-final win over Levante on Thursday, head coach Marcelino praised his players for their victory in Valencia.

The Primera club will contest two Copa del Rey finals within a fortnight in April.

Athletic saw off Levante 2-1 in extra-time and 3-2 on aggregate to set up a final with Barcelona.

Marcelino’s team reached last season’s Copa final but, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, have yet to play it. The 2020 final will take place on April 3 against rivals Real Sociedad.

With two finals in the space of 14 days next month, the boss admitted some things “only happen once in a lifetime”.

These players have made Athletic Club history and sometimes that only happens once in a lifetime. They had to make the most of the moment and they did so.”

The 2021 final will be the ninth Copa del Rey final between Athletic and Barcelona.