How many times have Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey?
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid take on fellow LaLiga side Villarreal in the last 16 of the 2022-23 Copa del Rey on Thursday.
If you managed one of the world’s biggest soccer clubs, what would you rather win? The Champions League, your domestic league title or your domestic cup competition? Let’s not kid ourselves, the Copa del Rey very much plays third fiddle (this apparently does exist) to LaLiga and ‘old big ears’ in Spanish soccer circles. And no more so than for Real Madrid.
As one of Spain’s ‘big two’, Madrid and Barcelona are constantly compared. It’s tedious but it’s inevitable. Los Blancos are well ahead in terms of Champions League victories (14-5) after their recent-ish dominance of the competition and also lead the way when it comes to league titles (35-26), although it’s closer than it once was.
How many Copa del Rey victories do Real Madrid have?
But one competition that hasn’t been quite as kind to Real Madrid is the Copa del Rey. They’ve won it 19 times, which seems like – and, let’s be honest, is – a lot, yet they take on Villarreal in the last 16 of the 2022-23 edition on Thursday looking to improve what is a fairly poor recent record in the cup (as well as turn their sketchy recent form around, as alluded to by Carlo Ancelotti in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday).
Again, as one of the ‘big two’, you’d expect Madrid to be either first or second when it comes to cup victories. Look at the Copa del Rey honours’ list, however, and you’ll see that they sit third, well adrift of Barcelona (31) and languishing behind Athletic Club (23). In truth, there are a whole bunch of statistics that illustrate their relative ‘struggles’ in the competition (or, perhaps more accurately, that their priorities have lain elsewhere).
Real Madrid haven’t won the Copa del Rey in nine years. They’ve won it just twice in the 21st century and five times in the last 40 years. Real Zaragoza, Real Betis and Espanyol have all lifted the trophy as often as Los Blancos since 2000. But none of those clubs have won as much as a single Champions League, so Madrid probably won’t care.
When was the last time Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey?
Real Madrid last won the Copa del Rey in the 2013-14 season, when they defeated Barcelona in the final at Mestalla in Valencia. There have been plenty of memorable Clásicos over the years, especially around that period, and this was another one.
You might not remember it as being the one that Asier Illarramendi came off the bench in but you certainly will remember it for Gareth Bale’s iconic run-off-the-pitch-and-around-Marc-Barta goal (see above tweet), which came with just five minutes left to play. That season culminated in a Champions League and Copa del Rey double for Los Blancos for the only time in their history.