Real Madrid Fights Its Way to Copa Del Rey Crown

Saed KhatibContributor IApril 21, 2011

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21:  Iker Casillas of Real Madrid kisses the Cibeles statue on April 21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. Real beat Barcelona 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia's Mestalla stadium on April 20.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid emerged victorious in Wednesday's clash in the Copa del Rey final, as Di Maria put in a sublime cross that was met by a Cristiano Ronaldo header in extra time, which sealed the deal in what proved to be an exciting Clasico.

It was Real Madrid's first Copa del Rey title win since 1993, and their first piece of silverware since their last La Liga title in 2008.

It's safe to say that anyone who doubts Jose Mourinho's adept tactics and shrewdness as a world-class coach is clearly ignorant.

What we saw yesterday made it obvious to everyone how astute Jose is after learning from his previous mistakes in the two Clasicos he managed earlier this season.

We all know how Barcelona plays free-flowing football and strives to get maximum possession of the ball. It's a pretty difficult style of play to counter, and a multitude of teams have suffered and were humiliated by Barcelona, Madrid included earlier this season.

Mourinho's insightful view in modern football and his unique perception of the teams he faces helped him find the formula that will ensure his triumph in the Copa del Rey final. Passionate man that he is, he successfully managed to encourage and get the players fired up for the game, with the exact same method that he used with the Inter players last year I presume.

The manner that Madrid used to approach the game was simple: Be physical. Most of the players of Blaugrana don't have remarkable physical attributes; they lack both strength and height. Mourinho exactly took advantage of this factor, and it was easy to do so looking at how Ramos, Pepe, Arbeloa, Marcelo and Co. are miles ahead of Messi and Co. in terms of vigor and aggressiveness.

The determination and grit presented by the Madrid players in the matchup was something that all football fans should admire, although there were a lot of violent tackles here and there. It was definitely not acceptable at all when Arbeloa stepped on Villa's leg, and instead of apologizing for this ruthless act, he grabbed him and shoved him away with Sergio Ramos's help.

When watching the game, it was apparent to everyone how Barca players tried to pass the ball as fast as possible in order to avoid harsh tackles that may have injured them. Barca players were indeed afraid.

The Galacticos deserved to win, after dominating the game in the first half of the match up, though they struggled in the second. Their unwavering and firm play helped them to edge out their opponent in extra time, and it was Ronaldo's time to shine with his first win against Barca in Real Madrid's shirt.

It was Los Merengues's 18 Copa del Rey title, and the team will be looking to carry their current form to the semifinal clash in the Champions League after surrendering La Liga to Barcelona.

Five Clasicos this year. What a blessing!

On a separate note, Sergio Ramos dropped the Copa del Rey cup while he was celebrating. Some said that was due to his inexperience in winning titles on Barcelona's expense in recent years.