Mighty CD Mirandes' Copa adventure

CD Mirandes' home ground, Estadio Anduva. Capacity: just 6,000. Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images

With headquarters in the city of Burgos, Caja Circulo serves as one of the leading regional banks in northern Spain, offering an array of financial services in 184 locations. It boasts over 700 employees, including a modest-looking bald-headed manager in the Quincoces de Yuso branch who wakes up each morning to help locals set up checking accounts, secure car loans or refinance mortgages. His name is Pablo Infante, and he's also the current leading scorer in this year's edition of Spain's Copa del Rey.

While the soccer world continues to obsess over the latest chapter of the Clasico saga between Real Madrid and Barcelona, tiny CD Mirandes, from Spain's third level of soccer (better known as the Segunda B), has done the unthinkable and earned a place in the Copa del Rey semifinals, where it will face Athletic Bilbao.

This collection of semi-pros and never-made-its has thumbed its nose at the notion that Spain is a "League of Two" by tacking three Primera Liga skins to its wall. First, a 3-1 aggregate win over Villarreal, including a 0-2 whipping on the Yellow Submarine's home ground. Then a dominant 3-1 aggregate performance over beleaguered Racing Santander, and finally, on Jan. 24, a miraculous 2-1 home win over Espanyol that saw Mirandes advance on away goals (final score: 4-4) via a 92nd-minute goal from a creaky-kneed 35-year-old defender who actually once played in a Champions League game. In 1998.

It is only the second time that a Segunda B side has reached the Copa semifinals (Figueres did it in 2002), and if this humble team from Miranda de Ebro in the Castilla y Leon region can pull off another win versus a Goliath, it will be playing in Europe. That's right, a third-division team may be in Europe next season. Eat your heart out, Birmingham City.

What pundits across the continent and beyond are asking is, well, who the heck are these guys? In order to equip those who plan to tune into tomorrow's semifinal first-leg game, we bring you the background on some of Spain's newest heroes.

Manager -- Carlos Pouso: A former lower-division player who once worked in the shipyard of a boat repair company so he could coach on evenings and weekends. In reference to the internal sniping going on at Real Madrid between the players and Jose Mourinho, Pouso mused, "Sometimes it's better being poor. You're happier that way."

Goalkeeper -- Nauzet Perez: The hulking 26-year-old netminder has spent most of his career in Spain, but did spend a few months in early 2011 playing at Swedish club Halmstads BK where he shared a locker room with American defender Ryan Miller. "Nauzet, like a lot of goalkeepers, is a bit crazy, but he has a commanding presence and is pretty secure with his feet," Miller said. A personality conflict between player and coach ultimately forced Nauzet to leave Sweden, subsequently landing him at Mirandes.

Defender -- Cesar Caneda: Without question, the Mirandes player with the most accomplished career. Caneda, whose last-gasp header was the stunning game winner versus Espanyol, started his career at Athletic Bilbao and played in a 1998 Champions League group-stage match for the storied Basque side.

Defender -- Raul Garcia: Garcia started his professional career at Real Union in 1994. Known as a versatile defender who can play all three positions, Garcia is the oldest of the Mirandes starters.

Defender -- Inaki Garmendia: A right back who can push up in attack, Garmendia is another Basque native set to face his childhood team, Athletic. The Vitoria native hits the books as a university student when he is not training or playing for Mirandes.

Defender -- Mikel Martins: The team's technology guru. Martins is renowned for cracking codes on iPhones and is never seen without his iPad 2 when they're on the road. He originally began studying business in college before a career in soccer intervened. Acting as the team historian, he was quick to snatch a video camera and record both the prematch and postmatch festivities surrounding the win over Espanyol. Martins was once part of the Athletic Bilbao system and came close to receiving first-team minutes under former manager Javier Clemente.

Midfielder -- Antxon Muneta: Has been a card-carrying "socio" (member) of Athletic Bilbao since he was 6, and originally studied business in college before going full-time into soccer. Currently lives just a 10-minute walk away from San Mames and says he would like to walk to the stadium for next week's second leg. Muneta carpools 200 kilometers from Bilbao with teammates Ander Lambarri and Alain Arroyo every day for training.

Midfielder -- Ivan Agustin: Another member of the over-30 gang, Agustin is a commanding veteran presence on the field and serves as team's co-captain. He also holds the important responsibility of leading cheers on the team bus before matches. This is the Logrono native's third stint at Mirandes, and he's already working and training to obtain his coaching license.

Midfielder -- Nacho Garro: In 1997, the central midfielder had the distinction of helping Spain win the under-16 European championship on a squad that included a baby-faced Iker Casillas. Since then, Garro's career has largely been a nomadic journey through Spain's lower tiers. Garro spends his time doing part-time work at his father's company in the nearby Basque city of Vitoria.

Midfielder -- Mikel Iribas: A former youth product at Real Sociedad, Iribas will go up against his old club's longtime Basque rival. As one of the youngest members of the squad at just 23, he splits his duties between the soccer field and the classroom, where he studies at a local university.

Forward -- Pablo Infante: What more can you say about Infante? Only that he is the Copa del Rey's leading scorer with seven goals, including the equalizer against Espanyol, followed by the game-winning assist. Despite his clear aptitude for higher-division soccer, Infante has spurned offers from more prestigious clubs because he enjoys the stability of having a day job at the bank. (Imagine Carlos Tevez displaying such sense.) Infante also famously got married the day before last year's promotion playoff final second-leg loss against Guadalajara, cutting his wedding night short in order to catch an early-morning flight from the southwestern city of Badajoz to Burgos so he could arrive in time for kickoff.

Forward -- Alain Arroyo: Like Muneta, Arroyo is also a "member" of Athletic Bilbao and has been since age 8. Well-liked and respected by his teammates, who gave him the nickname of "Mongi," and another player currently studying to receive his coaching license. Arroyo left the post-Espanyol celebration early so he could prepare for an exam the following morning.

Substitute -- Asier Barahona: At age 19, the striker is the youngest player on the team and currently spends his days as a university student in Vitoria (studying business) before heading to training. Barahona is the only member of the team actually from Miranda de Ebro. His teammates have nicknamed him "El Jabato" based on an old Spanish comic book series about an Iberian warrior.

Substitute -- Ander Lambarri: Currently studying to receive his coaching license, Lambarri, another native Basque, says taking the field at San Mames (Bilbao's stadium) will fulfill a lifelong dream. The forward has dedicated this magical Copa run to his father, who died recently. Coincidentally, Lambarri's playing career includes a prior stint at Guadalajara, the team that defeated Mirandes in last year's promotion playoff final.

Arch Bell is a freelance writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached on Twitter at @ArchBell.