In the 21st century, Real Madrid have managed to win the Copa del Rey twice, but there are many more bad memories than good ones.
Since the turn of the century, Los Blancos have been eliminated by non-third-tier teams less that five times – an inexcusable record for a team the size of Real.
Let’s see which of these defeats suffered the most.
For Real, the 2014/15 Copa del Rey was nothing short of a mess.
Drawn against the humble Cadiz in the fourth round, Real clinched a 3-1 first leg victory and looked as dominant as expected, but the draw did not even reach a second leg.
Los Blancos were actually kicked out of the competition after starting winger Denis Cheryshev, who was actually suspended from the game after picking up too many yellow cards in the 2013/14 tournament.
There was no embarrassing defeat for Rafa Benitez’s men. Instead, they were just really, really stupid.
When he took over from Fabio Capello, Bernd Schuster promised to bring attacking football back to the Santiago Bernabeu, but it came at the expense of a good defense against Real Union in 2008.
A second Real side string fell 3-2 to the minnows in the first leg, but Schuster refused to make too many changes for the next leg. He brought in star striker Raul but left a lot of his main guys at home, and he paid for it.
Real were better in attack but couldn’t prevent Union from entering. They were leading 4-2 in the 89th minute, when Eneko Romo appeared with a goal which saw the third-place team win overall.
It was naive of Schuster to be so ill-prepared for the second leg, but in his defense a side consisting of Fabio Cannavaro, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Marcelo should have been good enough.
Vicente del Bosque left many of his big names at home for the trip to Toledo in 2000, but they were still more than strong enough to get a result here.
Fernando Morientes started up ahead and center-back duo Fernando Hierro and Manolo Sanchis joined at the back, but that didn’t stop Real from going down two in 14 minutes.
Savio pulled one out in the 19th, but Real found themselves hitting a brick wall for the rest of the game.
It was the first Copa del Rey under new president Florentino Perez, who had just kicked off the Galacticos era by signing Luis Figo and promising to make Real the best team in history. Embarrassing.
In a season in which Zinedine Zidane nearly lost his job as Madrid made their way to the knockout stages of the Champions League, the boss found himself looking over the edge of the cliff after falling to Alcoyano in the third round.
With the pressure already on in the aftermath of the Spanish Super Cup elimination days earlier, Zidane pulled out a second-string side, with Casemiro being the team’s only regular starter, but even the academy side of Real. , who plays at the same level as Alcoyano, would have been ashamed of the performance.
Real took the lead but were caught and taken in overtime, and although Alcoyano had a man sent off shortly after the restart, they again managed to score the winning goal.
In overtime, Toni Kroos, Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema were all on the pitch but Real looked lifeless. They were sloppy at both ends of the pitch and were left licking their injuries by a team playing at tier four in 2019/20.
From start to finish, Real were utterly atrocious when they faced Alcorcon in 2009/10. It was a two-legged tie and Manuel Pellegrini’s men still couldn’t win.
Just describing them as losses doesn’t do it justice. Real were beaten 4-0 in the first leg, with the first three goals coming in the first half!
The defense was undoubtedly a reserve formation – Christoph Metzelder and Raul Albiol protected Jerzy Dudek in goal – but in attack the three Raul, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Karim Benzema failed to bring down Alcorcon.
The second leg saw Pellegrini go for a four ahead of Raul, Van Nistelrooy, Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain (the team’s top scorer this season), but they only managed to pull one off in the 81st minute, and it was Rafael van der Vaart who marked him.
The whole thing became known as Alcorconazo in Spain as the press ruthlessly tore Pellegrini up for his shortcomings, and it is still talked about to this day.
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