23 April 2011

Madrid Victorious, Cup Crushed, King Disappointed

Real Madrid won the 2011 Copa del Rey ("The King's Cup") during extra-time thanks to a brilliant header from Cristiano Ronaldo. Largely a scoreless (although not without opportunities) event, the match was a battle of tactical precision (Guardiola's creative and possession-oriented passing game vs. Mourinho's patient and flow-disrupting, anti-Pep approach) and emotional scuffles between players very familiar with each other's play. Despite all the pomp and fanfare, after the final whistle blew and well into the next day, Madrid would become as somber (if only momentarily) as runners-up Barcelona.

Highlights from "Cup Got Crushed by a Tire? Real Madrid Gets a Spare" (Andrew Das for The NY Times):
“I always make a spare in case something unexpected happens, lest (King Juan Carlos) be left with nothing to give out. The spare has been ready for a long time,” the owner of the jeweler that made the cup, Federico Alegre, told the newspaper El Mundo.
Alegre said told the newspaper that he would attempt to repair the original, which was dented and had its base destroyed in the fall. “I am not sad or even angry,” he said. “These things happen.”
"Aftermath" from Wikipedia entry, "2011 Copa del Rey Final":
Real Madrid players celebrated their victory that evening by riding a double-decker bus through Madrid where they were greeted by cheering crowds. While holding the trophy aloft, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos dropped the cup in front of the bus, where it was crushed.[6] Ramos later joked that he hadn't dropped the cup but that the cup jumped down to meet the fans.[7] The cup was replaced immediately with a spare version and placed in the Real Madrid museum.[6
A skillful and energetic defender (both in league play and for the Spanish national team), let's hope this doesn't turn out to be Ramos' most memorable video highlight.