I still can't believe we have won la Décima. When I got up this morning, I pinched my arm to realize I was not in the middle of a dream. It hurt, really, but I was not totally convinced yet. I grabbed a cup of coffee and turned my TV on to find they were airing last night's game again.
And there we were, trailing by 1-0 with 15 minutes to go. I remembered the tension, the nerves, the fear to lose. I cursed Ronaldo for missing a shot and felt pain in my dry throat, and remembered how much I yelled yesterday.
The field seemed to lean down towards Courtois' goal but the task looked impossible. Real Madrid charged for ten minutes, but Atlético's rocky defense dodged all of our blows. Eleven titans kept us far from the trophy displaying the will and conviction that has characterized their style since Cholo Simeone landed in Madrid more than two years ago.
But when willpower and determination are the factors that are going to call for a winner, we must feel safe and grateful to have Sergio Ramos in our team. Two minutes before the end, after missing a corner kick, I pulled myself by the hair like Xabi, but then I saw him, standing there in the middle of the box, and sighed.
Luka saw him, too, and he knew what needed to be done. There was no time for a chalkboard-prepared scheme. He grabbed the ball, hurried to the corner and sent it to Ramos, who had run past four of Atleti's defenders before flying, like only Kriptonians can do, to achieve the wonderful header we will never forget.
We owe you, Sergio. I have to apologize for having doubted. I criticized you back in November and December, when your defensive concentration was limited. I swore at you in front of the telly when I saw you abandon your position to look for a goal in February, March and April. I even thought sometimes that Carletto should have tried to put Pepe and Varane in the lineup and leave you in the bench.
I was wrong. You have proved, once more, that you are the greatest defender in the world. You left the almighty Bayern with a big and round zero at their scoreboard for 180 minutes. And you have given us the most crucial goals of the season. You scored twice in Munich as a payment for the tickets to Lisbon, and you did it again yesterday. When the game was lost and the colchoneros were already tasting their success, you showed the entire world what Real Madrid is. You are the "never surrender" and the "hasta el final, vamos Real" greatest representative.
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Juanito must be proud of you.