Cristiano Ronaldo played in his first Copa del Rey final in 2011, when his header in extra-time helped Los Blancos beat rivals Barcelona at the Mestalla stadium.
Now, the former Manchester United winger is 90 minutes away from enjoying another Spanish Cup success, and the Portuguese icon insists that Real Madrid players are ready to give their all on the field against their city rivals, Atletico Madrid.
Speaking to Real Madrid TV and the club’s official website, Ronaldo admitted that – although there was excitement within the team’s camp ahead of the final – he and his mates were well aware of the match’s high level of difficulty.
With the game portraying a derby, the Santiago Bernabeu’s crowd of spectators is expected to be equally divided with supporters from both sides. But for Ronaldo, keeping the focus on the task in hand – and not on the chants coming from opposing fans – is what will animate the team’s spirit in the final.
Ronaldo told reporters: “It is going to be a strange final because we are playing in our stadium, but the fans will be divided 50/50.
“That is not going to take away our ambition to win this Cup. We know that the stadium will be divided.”
The No.7 legend also called out on Real Madrid fans to give their maximum support, so as to encourage the team to perform at its very best. Referring to the remarkable reception his club received ahead of their Champions League return-leg encounter against Borussia Dortmund in the semis, Ronaldo stated: “I hope that the same [kind of reception] happens on Friday because it motivates us to give our all when we hit the playing field. That is what we want.”
Ronaldo went on to articulate Real’s gameness ahead of the 2013 Copa del Rey final, underlining that the first minutes of the clash will be vital in helping them secure comfort for the rest of the match.
“We are ready for Friday. We have to start off strong, just like this club, the best in the world, knows how.”
Ronaldo is currently Real’s sixth all-time top scorer with a record 200 goals in 197 appearances for the club since 2009, when he was signed from Manchester United for £80 million.
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