It’s 20 April 2011, the day of the Copa del Rey ﬁnal in Valencia. More importantly, it’s the day that Cristiano scores the fans’ favourite goal of the year – the goal which brings Real their only title of the season. But the goal doesn’t come for more than 100 minutes. He starts in the No. 9 position, which is not where he feels most comfortable.
He doesn’t like receiving the ball with his back to the goal and it’s difﬁcult being the only centre forward on the pitch. He has to run back and forth to help his team-mates get the ball forward, and it is starting to wear him out. Eventually, towards the end of the ﬁrst half, he gives a great assist to Pepe, who hits the post.
Throughout the ﬁrst half, Real have dominated the entire pitch and Barca have not even managed a single shot at goal. But Ronaldo has been looking lonely out there, and in the second half, when Barça get themselves back on track and back in sync, he looks even more isolated. At the end of an intense 90 minutes of excellent football, the No. 7 has still only had one shot on target. He will have to wait until extra time, until the 100th minute, to break his long and drawn out Barca dry spell.
|Cristiano leaps into the air above Adriano and sends the ball flying into the net with a powerful header. The spectacular goal brings home Real's first Copa del Rey in almost two decades
This time Barca are well and truly defeated, and not just because of the result. Leo had tried to get things moving from whatever position he happened to be in, but he always found himself tangled in a web of Real defenders. He controlled the ball far too much without any execution, and his dodging and feinting was completely ineffectual.
- Luca Caioli's book, Ronaldo: The Obsession for Perfection, is published by Corinthian Books and is out now. Order a UK copy here! Order a USA copy here!
With every extract published, Goal.com will be giving away one copy of Luca Caoili's new book. To have a chance of winning an ebook or hard copy of Ronaldo: The Obsession for Perfection, answer the following question: Before 2011, when was the last time Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey? Send answers to firstname.lastname@example.org - the winner will be announced in next Friday's extract.
Last week's winner: Ambrose Anthony