a 20th Copa del Rey for Madrid, a record trophy for Benzema

Karim Benzema equals Marcelo by becoming the most successful player in history with Real Madrid, thanks to the 20th coronation of the White House in the Copa del Rey final. It was on a double from Rodrygo that Carlo Ancelotti’s men beat Osasuna in Seville (2-1).

Thanks to a brace from Rodrygo, Real Madrid overcame Osasuna 2-1 and won the 20th Copa del Rey in their history in Seville on Saturday, nine years after their last title in the competition, in 2014.

The young Brazilian jewel of Real had to shine twice to give his side the advantage. He opened the scoring in the 2nd minute, on the first attack ball from Merengue, at the conclusion of a breakthrough from Vinicius on the left wing. Then after the equalizer signed Lucas Torro with a half-volley from the right back from the locker room (58th), Rodrygo inherited a lucky ball, after a strike from Toni Kroos deflected by the Navarrese defense, which he gave him enough to prick over Sergio Herrera to secure the crown for Real.

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Three days before their Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City, reigning European and Spanish champions Carlo Ancelotti’s men lifted their first trophy of the season in the best of times, just before the sprint final towards the continental coronation.

Rodrygo’s ‘very special day’

Boosted from the start, the players of the “White House” found the fault from 106 seconds into the game, scoring one of the fastest goals in the history of the King’s Cup finals. Very used this season (50 matches, 35 as a starter), Rodrygo, 22, has once again shown his importance in the merengue group, perfect support for superstars Karim Benzema and his compatriot Vinicius (at the origin of the two goals since his left wing) in Real’s attacking trident.

“It’s a very special day, especially with two goals scored. I really wanted to win this title, it was the only one I missed. I want to keep winning more, and more Copa del Rey. But this one is the first, so it’s a special day for me,” reacted the winger at the final whistle. He now has 16 goals and 11 assists this season in all competitions. Replaced by Marco Asensio in the 89th minute, Rodrygo was given a standing ovation by half of the Cartuja stadium, dressed in white.

Osasuna, for his part, showed a better face after returning from the locker room. Non-existent in the first period, apart from a few flashes from the prodigy Ez Abde (26th), the Navarrese started the second period much better, dominating the game and offering themselves some great goal opportunities before the equalizer. The “Gorritxo” (red mullet, in the Basque language), who were playing their second King’s Cup final there after that lost in 2005 against Betis Sevilla, will have to wait to lift the first major trophy in their history.

The “Nueve” a little more in history

Real, for its part, could have won with a larger margin. Benzema, the captain, had the ball 2-0 on foot in the 25th minute after a superb three-way play with his fellow Brazilians in attack, but his shot was deflected by a large Sergio Herrera. Then in the 32nd, David Alaba sent a free kick from 25 meters on the crossbar. Benzema nevertheless won his 25th title in the Merengue jersey, joining Marcelo at the top of the players who have won the most titles at Real Madrid. The “Nueve” also lifted the 99th trophy in the history of this club with a huge record.

A coronation that comes at the best of times for Real Madrid, in full doubt after its two stinging defeats on the grounds of promoted Girona (4-2) and Real Sociedad (2-0). But Ancelotti, coach of the last coronation of the Merengue in 2014 in the national cup, had promised it in March: this season, Real would win something. Promise kept.

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