The Italian believes the dramatic Copa del Rey final victory over Barcelona gave his side the confidence which has seen them win 22 straight games in all competitions
Carlo Ancelotti has highlighted Gareth Bale’s winning goal in the Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona as the catalyst for Real Madrid’s incredible run of form.
The Welshman ran over half the length of the pitch before scoring the winner at the Mestalla in April, with Madrid going on to win their 10th Champions League title a month later.
Confidence has continued to course through the side’s veins and the 2-0 victory over San Lorenzo in Saturday’s Club World Cup final makes it 22 straight victories for Ancelotti’s men in all competitions.
“The key was the first final we played at the Copa del Rey against Barcelona,” Ancelotti said following the win over the Argentine side.
“Winning that cup gave us confidence for winning later the Champions [League], Super Cup and this one. I think the key moment was that final in Valencia and later the team kept on improving every day and every match.”
Fittingly, it was Sergio Ramos – scorer of the vital equaliser in Real’s Champions League triumph over rivals Atletico Madrid – who headed home the opener in Morocco, getting on the end of Toni Kroos’ corner to make it 1-0 eight minutes before half-time.
And five minutes after the break, Bale wrapped up the victory, receiving Isco’s pass just inside the penalty area and side-footing the ball under San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastian Torrico.
But while Bale’s goals – both in April and December – could be seen as the ideal bookends to an incredible story for Real, Ancelotti is not interested in ending this chapter yet.
“There is great pride and happiness because I am at a club with so many great players,” he said.
“I am very happy because I think we can keep winning matches and extend the run we are on. We have had an unforgettable year but I think that we can look to the future with a very positive attitude.
“We have a very strong squad with some great players. The team more than deserve to win this trophy and now we can say that Real Madrid are the best team in the world.”