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Ronaldo’s extra-time header lifts Real Madrid to Copa del Rey title

Ronaldo (Getty Images)

After 102 minutes of physical play, tremendous goalkeeping and numerous chances both ways, Cristiano Ronaldo had the final say.

Ronaldo headed home an Angel di Maria cross at the end of the first period of extra time to lift Real Madrid to a 1-0, extra-time victory over Barcelona in a tense, thrilling final of the Copa del Rey. Marcelo sprung di Maria down the left before Ronaldo powered in his header from the center of the box.

Real Madrid held on for the final 18 minutes of extra time to earn the victory. Madrid captured its 18th crown and its first since 1993 and takes the psychological edge heading into next week's UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

While Barcelona all but captured the Spanish Primera Division league title with its 1-1 draw with Madrid in league play four days ago, Jose Mourinho's men captured the winners' silverware on Wednesday. The Spanish rivals face each other two more times in the next two weeks, with the April 27 and May 3 semifinal legs of the Champions League being the most important of their five meetings this season.

Video of the game-winning goal is after the jump:

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What did you think of the match? Do you think Madrid has the momentum heading into their Champions League semifinal, or do you see Barcelona advancing to the final?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. and I quote: “I think a lot of people think he is amazing only because of the way he runs. His legs are short and he takes a lot of steps to move, so it looks like he is extremely nimble.”

    People think he’s amazing because he has scored a bazillion goals, won like 10 trophies with Barca and been World Player of the year twice.

    Come on guy. He’s not on a level w/ Maradona and Zidane yet because he’s 23.

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  2. Oh no, Dave no longer finds me credible! The horror!

    If Messi wants to be considered a legend on the level of Maradona and Zidane, he needs to play well in massive games. He has done little in the World Cup and played poorly in these recent games against Madrid.

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  3. i was literally yelling at the TV when Ozil came off instead of Di Maria. I thought he was terrible in the 2nd half. But wow, I shut up after that!

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  4. His defending leaves so much to be desired…He doesn’t track back well at all. 1-1 he’s very good, and obviously we know about his attacking. But when he gets caught out, the other team usually scores.
    DiMaria dominated him in the second half.

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  5. Dude, a person who is ecstatic when a particular team loses is not a neutral. It’s totally fine if you dislike Barca, but I pity you if you indeed find Barcelona’s games incredibly boring. If you cannot appreciate the game of players like Messi, Xavi, Inesta (all of whom were the three finalists for the latest Ballon D’Or), I am not sure what you look for in a game – bonecrunching tackles and shirt grabs?

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  6. Messi dominant? I don’t think he has played well in either Clasico. When he has to drift to the middle of the field to get the ball, you know that Barcelona is in trouble.

    While this may sound odd, I think a lot of people think he is amazing only because of the way he runs. His legs are short and he takes a lot of steps to move, so it looks like he is extremely nimble. Ronaldo can make a run and cover the same amount of space but it doesn’t look like he is doing anything special because he is taking long strides. It’s a purely aesthetic difference.

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  7. As a neutral, I am ecstatic that Barcelona has been defeated. While many laud their style of play, I often find Barcelona games incredibly boring. Great game, Madrid!

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  8. Fantastic victory Real Madrid. This will give the club much confidence heading into the Champions League clash. ¡VAMOS AL FINAL MADRID!

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  9. 10 things i learned today’
    1.Real has figured Barcelona out, the score could have easily been 3-0.
    2.Ronaldo will always be a problem for Barca whether puyol plays or not because his athletic ability is unreal, his speed is second to none
    3.Real madrid’s players are not as close as Barca’s players – Chemistry
    4.Messi will always dominate even if its in a loosing effort
    5.When real madrid really tries they are just as good as barcelona
    6.Messi wanted this game, you could tell by the look on his face when the final whistle blew
    7.Villa will cost Barcelona in CL
    8.A key player from either team will be sent off when it matters most
    9.This is Real madrid’s year
    10. Real will win CL

    http://www.thenewsnation.com/

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  10. I’m starting to believe the superstition surrounding Mourinho. If he keeps this up, he’ll have hopped to two team in two years and created masterful chemistry. Wow.

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  11. Didn’t watch Madrid vs Barcelona, maybe I’ll catch the same two teams play next year in the final. Not in a rush I have from now until eternity to watch these same two teams play for anything of value in Spain.

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  12. You mean we have the gall to call it something it has been called for eons. Soccer is short for association football, and it is what the sport is called in several places of the world. Deal with it. Jackass.

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  13. Did anyone else notice how many times Di Maria’s instinct was to extend his hands? There was the first called one that bounced up towards his body when he went to shield his face, then a ball well away from his where he reached out to grab it or something and failed, then the last one that got him the yellow. Just an odd observation.

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  14. What a tremendous game, so entertaining. Sometimes it is a shame that someone has to lose.

    Pinto played a great game, so I don’t see that Valdes would have made any difference.

    The great thing is that this series is only at the midpoint and the stakes are increasing. If you are not watching these games, you don’t like soccer.

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  15. Ya know, it’s funny, right before that cross, I was thinking to myself that Di Maria had been pretty useless both games this week– i stand corrected

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  16. I wonder if Guardiola regrets starting Pinto instead of Valdes. Really great header but definitely not impossible to save.

    Reply

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