For the fifth time in history, a Madrid derby will be in the Copa Del Rey Final. It’s hard to believe that Atletico Madrid have the edge in those encounters, winning three out of four finals against Real Madrid, including the last one in 1992. Real Madrid come to the final with the confidence of 14 years of success in the Derbi madrileño, and the hunger to finish the season with at least one minor title to brag about.
And there’s also the 14 year drought for Atletico. It’s been even worse since Jose Mourinho arrived, winning all 6 derby matches he has presided over. Atletico Madrid have been excellent this season, especially during the first half of the campaign, except for their matches against Barcelona and Real. The lost 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in an awful match on their behalf. The second meeting, at the Vicente Calderon, started out perfectly as Atletico took an early lead, but stopped playing after a short while, giving Real Madrid yet another victory in this fierce rivalry. In all, Atletico have failed to beat Real in their last 25 encounters.
Real Madrid might be missing Raphael Varane and possibly Alvaro Arbeloa as well, but they didn’t have their strongest side available when they won on their away match; the final is being held at the Santiago Bernabeu. With Cristiano Ronaldo hungry for something to talk about when this season ends, it’s hard to see Atletico, winning only one match out of their last four. Ronaldo is usually on fire against Atletico, scoring 8 goals in 8 appearances against them.
The talk of Falcao leaving to Monaco hasn’t hurt his form, just his team’s. He has scored 28 goals in 33 matches this season, including 7 out of their last 8, taken off in the 67th minute during their 1-2 loss against Barcelona. Falcao has one title with Atletico Madrid – winning the Europa League final 12 months ago, and if this is truly his final Madrid derby before embarking on a new, richer adventure, maybe he’ll find it in him to put in one great match and give Atletico fans the thing they wish for the most.
Predictions – Atletico Madrid’s best player is a striker that doesn’t influence the match as much as his other teammates, and usually suffer for it in matches against the bigger clubs. As much as a win and a couple of goals against Real Madrid to end Falcao’s tenure with Atletico Madrid sound like a dream, reality is usually a little bit different, and Real Madrid are simply too good for Atletico in every possible parameter.