Madrid fans deserve Copa del Rey joy, says Butragueno

Los Blancos director wants his side to give supporters a lift after losing their Liga crown and is pessimistic about the injury Raphael Varane picked up against Espanyol

Emilio Butragueno has encouraged Real Madrid’s players to rally after conceding La Liga on Saturday and wants them to console the fans with victory over Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

Los Merengues were held to a 1-1 draw away at Espanyol on Saturday, a result which confirmed Barcelona’s status as this season’s league champions.

Butragueno admitted that the title had been beyond his side for some time but hoped a victorious cup clash at the Santiago Bernabeu offered some chance of redemption.

“We made many mistakes [in the first half of the season],” the director of institutional relations explained to Madrid’s official website.

“Barcelona took advantage and we were not able to reduce the gap. But starting today is the countdown [to the final]. It is key that the game is in our stadium.

“It will be unpredictable but the team is very excited and the fans deserve some joy. The main thing is to prepare for the final and we can count on everyone to do that.”

Butragueno, a former Blancos striker who enjoyed six Liga titles and two Copa del Rey wins with the club, expressed his frustration with the draw against Espanyol and also gave some detail on injury sustained by Raphael Varane in that fixture.

“Every time we enter the field we have an obligation to go and win because we are Real Madrid,” the 49-year-old Spaniard continued.

“We tried but they [Espanyol] were also inspired and we fell behind. A set pieces cost us a lot.

“It’s bad news [for Varane], because he has hurt his knee. Let’s see what the MRI says. This a very bad sign sincerely, but we’ll see. He has improved a lot and we are very hopeful for their future and it would be a shame not to have him.”

Madrid have 81 points from 36 games, seven behind Barcelona who have currently played two less.

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