However, the Catalan giants still harbour ambitions of a domestic league and cup double and will be aiming to lift their first Copa title since 2018.
This encounter will be a repeat of the 2015 final – which Ter Stegen participated in – with the Basque side aiming to win their first Copa since 1987 – having lost last season’s clash against Real Sociedad a fortnight ago.
It is also a repeat of the Spanish Supercopa showpiece from three months ago – when Athletic netted a last minute equaliser and then won the trophy in extra-time.
Ter Stegen told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday, in quotes carried by El Mundo Deportivo: “It’s an opportunity to win a title. Obviously we have the match from a few months ago in mind and we hope it won’t happen to us again. Until minute 90 we were better, but then we noticed the fatigue.
“This time we will not have the 120 minutes of the semi-final in our legs. We are prepared. It is a final and we see it independent of what happens in the rest of La Liga, but if we win you will feel very good and if you lose it you will be left with a really bad feeling.
“We never get used to winning titles as each is a very big effort, it means being one hundred percent in a full season. The effort we made to get here deserved this final and we are going to give it our all.
“It is a 50-50 final before starting, but if we do our job as before the international break, we have many options and always playing a really complete game.
“These games are special, I take these moments with me for a lifetime, it’s what one wants to experience as a footballer, and I was waiting for the moment to be here again.
“In the second half of El Clasico we played well and made a good effort, but you have to do it for 90 minutes. That interrupted us little, but we have had several training sessions since and we are good for the final.”