Spanish Cup Final: Cristiano Ronaldo does not fail in finals

Atletico de Madrid has always been a dangerous team in the finals and more in recent years, since Falcao plays in the red-white ranks. But Real Madrid can boast a player at least as reliable as the Colombian striker. Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who uses to be decisive in that kind of games. So much so that nine years ago he played his first major final (with a defeat) in which he scored. It was with Portugal against Greece at Euro 2004.

Cristiano Ronaldo holding the Spanish Cup Trophy 2011
Cristiano Ronaldo with the Spanish Cup trophy (2011)

That was the first big disappointment of Ronaldo in the football world, but that year he had met the friendly face of high competition. With Manchester United in his first season, won the FA Cup beating Milwall in the final. The Portuguese opened the scoring in a game his team won 3-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored again in the League Cup final in 2006 (against Wigan, a goal, 4-0), and repeated against Chelsea in the Champions League final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium in 2008. It was his debut in the big stage. He opened the scoring with a header, though Lampard equalized and the match was decided on penalties. Cristiano missed his shot, but his team lifted the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not scored only in a final, in the 2009 Champions League, against Barcelona. He was close a couple of times in the opening minutes, but Valdes saved the opportunities. The winner of the night was Messi, his great rival, scorer of the definitive 2-0 for Barca. Ronaldo would take revenge two years later. In Mestalla Stadium, Spanish Cup final 2011, he was who scored the decisive goal for Real Madrid (1-0).

This Friday Crisitano Ronaldo is playing his second Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) final in barely three years. This year's final will also be special for him, mainly due to the possibility of winning a title in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. “We have to start off strong, just like this club, the best in the world, knows how. Having the Bernabeu divided 50/50 isn't going to take away our ambition to win this Copa del Rey. We're ready and excited at the prospect of winning this title. I hope that on Friday the bus gets a reception similar to that we experienced against Borussia Dortmund”, he revealed to Realmadrid TV.

The team has worked hard to get to the Copa del Rey final. Now it's time to win...
We're very excited about this trophy and we want to win. We know it's going to be a really hard-fought game against a rival from the same city. It's going to be a great show. Let's hope that Real Madrid can win.

It's your first single-legged final in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, which will be divided in two: half Whites and half Atletico. Why is the full support of the fans going to be so important?
It's going to be a strange final because we're playing in our stadium but the fans will be divided 50/50. That isn't going to take away our ambition to win this Cup. We know that the stadium will be divided. Let's hope that the best team wins. If we go out on the pitch strong and we play as we know how, we're going to win.

Your bus is going to arrive at the stadium from Concha Espina Avenue, as it did in the second-leg match against Borussia Dortmund. Was that reception special?
It was amazing. As long as I've been here I have never seen a reception like that. It was a really special, unique moment that none of us players will ever forget. I hope that the same happens on Friday because it motivates us to give our all when we hit the playing field. That's what we want.

You've scored 200 goals with Real Madrid and one of the goals that are most remembered is from the Copa del Rey final in Mestalla against Barcelona. How are you approaching the match against Atletico?
I'm approaching it as I do any other match, but with added responsibility. Psychologically, I go into all matches in the same manner, but this is a final. It's a special match, but my ambition will always be the same: to help Real Madrid as best I know how, which is trying to play well, scoring goals, assists... I'm not worried and both my teammates and I are playing well. We're ready for Friday. We have to start off strong, just like this club, the best in the world, knows how.

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