Cristiano Ronaldo fired Real Madrid into the 2013 Copa del Rey final with a dominant brace against Barcelona's defense, and he will prove unstoppable once again when the final against Atletico Madrid actually takes place at the end of the 2012-13 season.
The superstar winger has simply been in blistering form for several years now really, and is the heart and soul of Los Blancos' attack. He is their go-to player, their match-winner and their difference-maker—plus every other phrase or metaphor you could ever think of in relation to his importance.
It's probably a bit far to suggest that Ronaldo is Real Madrid, but the truth is he's their most significant part, and he'll prove that in the final this year as well.
When Madrid played their cross-town rivals earlier in the year, it was Los Blancos who emerged with a 2-0 victory—thanks to the brilliance of Ronaldo.
The Portuguese winger netted the opening goal of the match with an absolutely delightful free kick, and continued his attacking dominance throughout the match. He would set up Madrid's second goal for Mesut Ozil and hit the post two other times during the match—scoring a phenomenal perfect 10 on WhoScored's match rating scale, which certainly isn't an easy feat to do.
Madrid simply had no answer on either flank for Ronaldo, and they'll likely have the same thing happen to them in the final, given the form the winger is in.
Domestically, Ronaldo has netted 24 goals and five assists from as many 23 appearances. His average of 7.1 shots per game is a league high, and his 1.6 dribbles and 1.8 goal-scoring chances created per game both also ranking highly in Los Blancos' team.
There have been just four La Liga matches since November where Ronaldo hasn't chalked up a goal or an assist, with teams simply unable to stop him from getting something on goal. And when that happens, the goals and assists usually flow in as a result.
The fact that this is a final should also strike fear into the minds of Atletico Madrid, with Ronaldo possessing an incredible record in finals. His lone final for Madrid saw him score the only goal in a Copa del Rey winning match against Barcelona in 2011—something that Atletico will no doubt be wanting to avoid in the 2013 version of that match.
Ronaldo has also won five other finals in his career—scoring in three of them—and will look to build on that record with a strong showing this time around.
Judging on what we've seen so far this year, you'd expect nothing else from the Portuguese international and his dynamic finishing ability.
Atletico Madrid won't be able to come up with an answer to him here, much like they couldn't when they met earlier in the season and much like Barcelona couldn't when they played in the Copa del Rey semifinals. And without an answer, Ronaldo will thrive, and Real Madrid will win.
It's as simple as that.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo be the difference in the 2013 Copa del Rey final?
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