When a team like Real Madrid sets its goals before every season, the definition of success isn’t counting on winning the Copa Del Rey, even if the final is set to be against their big local rivals, Atletico Madrid. After another season of relative failure, Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo have a chance to add a meaningless trophy, not for the first time, in order to say that it wasn’t as bad as the “pro-Barcelona” media is trying to present it.
Rewind to 2011, with Real Madrid finishing another season in the shadow of Pep Guardiola’s Barca. Jose Mourinho has just completed his first campaign with the team: Second behind Barcelona, knocked out by them in the Champions League semifinals, but triumphant over them in the Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal in the final, against Barcelona. It was his first win with Real Madrid over Barcelona, and Mourinho’s first as well since arriving at Spain.
So was that season a success? Nope. Just like Barcelona’s 2011-2012 season, ending in a second place finish, a semifinal knockout in the Champions League and winning the Copa Del Rey couldn’t be labeled successful, Real Madrid’s title from a year later wasn’t the one fans were dreaming of, or could erase everything that went wrong that season. It won’t be able to erase what went wrong this season.
But it’s all about false pretenses, especially for Mourinho, who loves to think in a very selfish, narrow way. It’s about what he’s done for the club, loving to erase anything before him, and degrade anyone that will come after him. He usually leaves clubs as a loved man by both players and fans. His departure from Real Madrid, even if it will be with a third title (one championship, one Spanish Cup so far), will be something both the players, the ownership and the fans can’t wait for.
Cristiano Ronaldo? He’s about titles, team titles. That’s what he says. But winning the Copa Del Rey after scoring more goals than Messi in that season was a cause for him to complain about not winning the Ballon d’Or a few months later. This season, both of them will be left empty handed, probably, making room for someone who plays for Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. Lets hope that if he wins the Copa Del Rey and knowing Messi isn’t such a huge favorite to win the award this time doesn’t bring out the worst in him once again. That’s too much to ask when it comes to Mourinho.