Monday, December 11, 2023

The Copa del Rey, a taboo competition for Real Madrid in the 21st century

He real Madrid has lost more finals Copa del Rey of which he has won. And that is a fact that is not repeated in other competitions and makes it a disturbing scenario for whites. Up to 19 times he has lifted the trophy and in 20 finals he has left with the disappointment of not having won the title. Nor does it inspire too much confidence if you review the white list of winners in the KO competition in the 21st century.

Bale’s ride over Bartra

From 2000 until now, the ‘merengues’ have played five finals, with three setbacks and two hierarchical victories, yes, against FC Barcelona. Mestalla witnessed both. In the first, Mourinho was on the bench and Cristiano Ronaldo came down majestically to finish off a cross from Ángel Di María and give him the title in 2011.

The second, in 2014, the last one raised by the Whites had Carlo Ancelotti on the bench. The Italian lined up that April 16 an eleven formed by Iker Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Xabi, Modric, Isco, Di Maria; Benzema and Bale. And in the second part they also entered Illarramendi, Casemiro and Varane.

Gareth Bale’s victorious ride against Marc Bartra in the 2014 Copa del Rey final that Real Madrid won over Barça. EFE

The authors of the goals were the noodle Di María, Bartra and Bale, with that splendid run that left Bartra himself on the road before scoring the goal that gave the team the title Florentine. That was nine seasons ago and this Saturday they could repeat, in addition to Carletto on the bench, Carvajal in the right-hand lane, Modric if he finishes recovering, Karim Benzema and a Nacho who then did not play a minute in the final. They are the only ones in the current squad who have savored the achievement of this title.

From the ‘Centenariazo’ to the shipwreck against Real Zaragoza

But in addition to these two titles, Real Madrid has three erasures on its record from 2000 onwards, two of them in the very Santiago Bernabéu. The first and most painful occurred on March 6, 2002, the day of the ‘Centenariazo’ of the white club. That night the whites celebrated their 100 years of existence jPlaying the Cup final against a Deportivo who sneaked into the party without raising his voice.

The Deportivistas ruined the appointment for the Whites, winning 1-2 with goals from Raúl for Madrid and Diego Tristán, who was signed by Lorenzo Sanz the summer Florentino arrived, with Figo under his arm, and Sergio González, the current coach of the Cadiz. A very hard blow that tarnished the historic anniversary and It remained in everyone’s memory as the ‘Centenariazo’. Javier Irureta won the hand of his friend Vicente del Bosque that night.

The Real Zaragoza players celebrate the victory they achieved against Real Madrid in 2004. EFE

Not long after, in 2004, the ‘Galácticos’ went to Montjuïc to face Zaragoza on March 17. The party fell apart soon and it turned out a final full of goals in which the hands knew how to tickle the white stars, directed by Carlos Queiroz. The goals from Beckham and Roberto Carlos were worthless, because Zaragoza scored three through Danielan ex-Madridista trained in the Castilla youth academy, another from a youngster’s penalty David Villaand one more, the decisive one, of Luciano Galletti in the extra time that the Cup commanded on the banks of the Ebro, where those of Víctor Muñoz offered it to the Virgen del Pilar.

The resounding triumph of Atlético

The last high-profile setback also occurred in Chamartín, where Mourinho’s Real Madrid hosted the Diego Pablo Simeone’s Atlético, two coaches of the so-called face-to-face winners. The game ended with a tie at one, after Madrid took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo at 13 minutes and Atlético equalized at 34 with a goal from Diego Costa.

The match went into extra time and there, in a set piece poorly defended by the whites, Brazilian defender Joao Miranda scored the final 1-2 in the first part of extra time. The indians they conquered the Castellana and Koke, in a symbolic image, stuck an athletic flag on the Bernabéu grass at the party.

The Belgian Thibaut Courtois celebrates the Copa del Rey that he won in 2014 with Atlético. EFE

This sixth final for the Whites this century could open the Cup list of players like Kroos, world champion with Germany and winner of all possible club competitions except the KO tournament in Spain. They also want to debut Courtois, who already won it defending the Atlético goal in the 2013 final at the Bernabéu, and now he wants to raise it with the whites. Same situation for the youngest as Vinicius, Rodrygo, Ceballos, Asensio, Camavinga or Tchouaméni.

Without confidence before the Champions League

But everyone knows that it is a cursed trophy for the club in recent years. A title, this year’s, that you will savor more if you finally conquer it because the road has been tortuous and very demanding, with qualifying rounds at the limit in Villarreal, where Ceballos and Asensio jumped onto the field to rescue the teamand with qualifiers against Atlético and Barcelona in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Although Real Madrid is more pending a Haaland that will land in Madrid 36 hours later After the game ends in La Cartuja, Carletto, who already warned Arrasate that they would play the final between them, has insisted in the dressing room that he does not want any confidence despite the white favoritism and has designated this Cup final as the most important of the year . At least for now. And history proves him right. History does not allow trusts.


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