The majority of finals are remembered for the smallest of details, a piece of individual skill or a decisive goal. The clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona on 16 April in Mestalla will go down in history as the one Gareth Bale won. With the match poised at 1-1 and extra time just around the corner, he began a bounding gallop from his own half before leaving Bartra in his dust and beating Pinto. “It is a dream come true”, he said after lifting the Cup.
But it would not be right to dedicate the title to just one man, because the club's 19th Spanish Cup victory was the fruit of the whole team's hard work. They players demonstrated that over the course of their passage to the final. Olímpic de Xàtiva, Osasuna, Espanyol and Atlético de Madrid were all put to the sword by the unity of the Whites, who headed to Mestalla having recorded seven wins and one draw in the competition, as well as scoring 13 goals and conceding none. “A brilliant run”, as Casillas summarised after the climax of the Cup campaign, which finished with a win over the club's eternal rival in the grand final in Valencia.
Video.Bale's goal dazzled the world
“We want to thank the fans for their love and support. Without them we are nothing”, declared Sergio Ramos as he dedicated the title to the Real Madrid supporters. And, once again, the Whites' fans demonstrated that they are the best supporters in the world. On the day of the final they invaded Valencia and, in the hours leading up to the big clash, they partied in the Fan Zone, where Florentino Pérez pointed out: “This club is where it is thanks to the fans”.
Video.Champions Copa Rey 2014
70,000 PEOPLE CELEBRATED THE WIN IN CIBELES.
At 21:30, the party moved from the Fan Zone to Mestalla. The supporters were behind their team throughout the match. The encouragement from the stands was one of the keys to Ancelotti's men's performance. They took the lead within ten minutes with a masterful counterattack that Di María finished off, and also had two more clear cut chances. Despite Cristiano's absence, Real Madrid was the better of the two sides and they showed it. Against the run of play, Barcelona managed to get an equaliser from a corner. But, then the world held its breath as Bale began his sprint towards goal.
The final whistle sent everyone into raptures. The first stab at a title during the Ancelotti era proved successful. The Italian appeared “happy for the team and the fans". The squad celebrated the triumph on the pitch and within the Mestalla dressing rooms. Casillas lifted the Whites' 19th Spanish Cup title. And, as it could not have been done in any other way, the magical day was capped off in Cibeles, where thousands of Real Madrid fans awaited the team into the early hours of the morning. It was Bale's final, but the merit also belongs to a truly great team.