Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno was quick to recount the dangers of facing lower-league opposition after Jose Mourinho´s men were drawn against third tier Real Murcia in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey today.
Madrid suffered one of the biggest humiliations in their illustrious history last season after being dumped out at the same fourth-round stage by another third tier side Alcorcon, who won the first leg 4-0 at home en route to a 4-1 aggregate victory.
The previous season, again in the fourth round, Madrid were knocked out by Real Union, who were also playing at the third level of Spanish football, while you have to go back to 1993 for the last time the Spanish giants won the competition. Inaki Alonso, the coach of Murcia, was in charge of Union when they stunned Madrid two years ago.
Butragueno, a playing legend at the Bernabeu, said following today's draw: "Madrid have to be very alert. We've had very bad experiences in other years. It´s not a competition that has given us much joy."
Barcelona, who have won a record 25 Copa del Rey crowns - two more than Athletic Bilbao and eight more than Madrid, were also paired against Segunda Division B opposition in the form of Ceuta. Last season's winners Sevilla begin the defence of their crown against a Real Union side who will be looking to repeat their Madrid heroics of a couple of years ago.
Europa League champions Atletico Madrid, who lost 2-0 to Sevilla in May's final, face Universidad de Las Palmas while 2009 runners-up Athletic will be well aware of what their opponents Alcorcon are capable of. Villarreal play Polideportivo Ejido for the second time in three seasons after suffering an embarrassing 6-1 aggregate defeat to them in 2008. El Portugalete, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, take on Getafe.
There are four all-Primera Division ties in the fourth round - when the top-flight clubs enter the competition -with Real Sociedad meeting Almeria, Osasuna taking on Deportivo La Coruna, Hercules facing Malaga and Real Mallorca playing Sporting Gijon.
The first legs of these ties are scheduled to take place on October 27 with the return meetings being played on November 10.
Full draw: Real Murcia v Real Madrid, Real Union v Sevilla, Logrones v Valencia, Ceuta v Barcelona, Polideportivo Ejido v Villarreal, Universidad de Las Palmas v Atletico Madrid, Portugalete v Getafe, Real Betis v Real Zaragoza, Xerez v Levante, Cordoba v Racing Santander, Alcorcon v Athletic Bilbao, Real Valladolid v Espanyol, Real Sociedad v Almeria, Osasuna v Deportivo La Coruna, Hercules v Malaga and Real Mallorca v Sporting Gijon.