On 18 May 2013 there will be a very special Madrid derby.
Atlético Madrid did not pass up the chance to take the ideal stage to erase swipe 14 years of frustration against Real Madrid with one strike. It would be typical of the club if they could pull it off.
Both clubs' sets of fans have just under three months to dream and fear, but history provides one solid argument in favour of the Rojiblancos: the two teams have met four times in the Copa del Rey final, and Atleti have won three of them (all of them at the Bernabéu, lest we forget). But that is for May, and Atleti booked their place in the final in February with a 2-2 draw in Seville, and once again Diego Costa was instrumental.
A storm prevented Seville Singer 'El Arrebato' from singing the club's anthem on the pitch and making the atmosphere at the start of the game even more electric, but the person who really rained on the parade in the Sánchez Pizjuán was Diego Costa.
The Brazilian only allowed the home crowd six minutes of hope before scoring a brilliant goal out of nowhere. The ball bounced across the edge of the area in front of Sevilla defenders Fazio and Botía, who mistakenly thought the man approaching them was a human and not a beast. The centre-halves hesitated, Costa took the ball, beat Botía and fired a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
The goal put Sevilla on the brink of the abyss, but Jesús Navas would not let them fall into it. Alongside promising young back Alberto, the winger pushed Atlético back into their own half. Gary Medel went about things in his usual way, lunging about without looking to see what was behind him: a mattress, a wall or a footballer. In doing so, he injured Tiago and then almost scored, heading wide from close range. His effort made Sevilla believed they could turn it around, but once the fans sensed hope, Diego Costa killed it, this time with the help of Falcao.
With two forwards against four defenders, the counter-attack did not look dangerous. But these were not any ordinary forwards. Fálcao sent the ball to the wing and found Costa, who controlled a ball that looked unreachable - perhaps it was for any other footballer. El Tigre showed his gratitude by losing his marker Botia and meeting the cross to score the second. With 29 minutes gone, the tie was now over.
Sevilla, roared on by the Pizjuán, forgot they needed four goals. They were rewarded for their efforts by a super goal from Navas, who curled a magnificent shot in off the post shortly before half-time to give them faint hope to take with them into the break.
The opening 15 minutes of the second period were fantastic, with Sevilla attacking and Atleti responding. Manu, Diego Costa, Rakitic, Falcao and Negredo all missed great chances. But as time slipped away from Sevilla, their objectives shifted from scoring to targeting Costa.
With the exception of Rakitic's injury time goal, the final half hour was an ugly dogfight, with Sevilla seeking out their enemy. Medel was sent off with 13 minutes to go for two yellow cards, while Kondogbia followed him in stoppage time for a stamp on Costa when the Brazilian was on the floor.
However, all the argy bargy proved incidental to the main story, which is that Simeon's Atleti keep rising and rising. Now the definitive challenge remains: a cup final and a derby, the perfect stage.