Friday, April 20, 2012

20 April 2011 - Maybe This Is Why They Don't Win It More Often

On 20 April 2011, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey for the first time in eighteen years, then proceeded to destroy it by dropping it in the path of their parade bus. 

Before then, Madrid's last tournament title came in 1993, when they beat Real Zaragoza and they last appeared in a final in 2004 (when they lost to Zaragoza).

They faced El Clásico rivals Barcelona in the 2011 final, having gone winless against them in the league, with a 1-1 home draw and a crushing 5-0 away loss. The two teams were also scheduled to meet one week later in the Champions League semifinals. Playing before a crowd of 55,000 at Valencia's Estadio Mestalla, the final remained scoreless through the first 90 minutes, due largely to the stellar play of of the two goalkeepers, Madrid's Iker Casillas and Barca's José Pinto. But in the first period of extra time, Madrid forward Ángel di María sent in a cross for his teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, to head home in the 105th minute for the day's only goal.

Unfortunately for Real Madrid, they did not get long to savor the cup. As the team rode an open-topped bus into Madrid to celebrate the win, with the parade extending into the early hours of the next morning, center back Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy over the front end of the bus. It landed directly in front of the moving bus, which proceeded to run over the cup.

The trophy--the eleventh one in Copa del Rey history--shattered into several pieces, but Madrid soon received a replacement to display at their stadium.


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