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CR7: Real Ready For Derby Final

Cristiano Ronaldo admits that Friday night’s Copa del Rey final will be an odd experience.

For starters, the game is being played at an unusual time, having been rescheduled so as not to conflict with the Eurovision competition, which is also taking place in Madrid.

And secondly, while the match is taking place at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the venue is ostensibly neutral for the final, and so will be filled with equal numbers of Los Blancos and Atletico Madrid fans.

For that reason, CR7 says the derby final will have a surreal feel to it.

"It is going to be a strange final because we are playing in our stadium, but the fans will be divided 50-50," Ronaldo told Real Madrid’s television channel.

"That is not going to take away our ambition to win this cup. We know that the stadium will be divided and we hope the best team wins. If we go out strongly and play as we know how, that will be us."  

Two seasons ago, CR7 towered above Barcelona’s leaden defence to head home the goal which gave the Copa del Rey to Madrid.

This time around, the cup is again Real’s last chance to win silverware. And Ronaldo admits that he does feel the burden of expectation, with Real looking to him to power them to further glory.

"I am approaching it as I do any other match, but with added responsibility," Ronaldo said.

"In my head I go into all matches in the same manner, but this is a final.

“It is a special match, but my ambition will always be the same - to help Real Madrid as best I know how, which is trying to play well, scoring goals, assists.

“My team-mates and I are playing well. We are ready for Friday."

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