Casillas lauds Real Madrid and Ronaldo for victory over Barcelona
Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas lauded “phenomenal” Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal international helped routing Barcelona in a 3-1 encounter at Nou Camp. The victory has set up Real Madrid with derby rivals Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.
Both teams met on Wednesday after 1-1 draw in the first leg of the battle at Santiago Bernabeu. Barcelona were favorites to come out as winners from the second leg of the game since it was their home ground, but Cristiano Ronaldo scored through a penalty given away by Gerard Pique in the 13th minute and then scored yet again following a brilliant run by Angel di Maria in the 57th minute.
In the 68th minute Raphael Varane scored a brilliant header through a penalty corner take the score to 3-0 in Real Madrid’s favor. Barcelona got their consolation goal in the 89th minute when Jordi Alba scored on a lobbed ball from Andres Iniesta.
Iker Casillas, who watched the game from the sidelines because of a broken hand, believes Real Madrid clearly deserved to win the game. The Spain international gushed with praise for Cristiano Ronaldo, who proved to be the engine of Real Madrid’s attack force.
“We knew how to play Barcelona and tactically we came out on top,” Iker Casillias said. “We were well positioned on the pitch and in all areas we were in control. It was a very strong performance and in defence we were superb. Cristiano was phenomenal. It was a 10 out of 10 performance and we deserve to be in the final.
“Cristiano is a vital player for us but while he had an excellent performance so did the whole team. He is a reference for us and has showed his capability not just in this game but in other Clasicos.”
Iker Casillas believes victory over Barcelona will act as a good morale booster before Real Madrid’s Champions League game against Manchester United. The La Liga champions are scheduled to travel play against Manchester United at Old Trafford for the second of their Round of 16 battle on March 5.
Both teams are tied at 1-1 from the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid needs to win the game in order to stay in contention for European glory.
“Hopefully this result can now be a turning point for the side because this is a difficult stadium to play in. Now we are looking to do well in the Champions League and La Liga,” Iker Casillas added.