- Real Madrid star Federico Valverde has apologised after his cynical sending off
- Valverde was dismissed after fouling Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata
- Los Blancos eventually beat their rivals on penalties to win Spanish Super Cup
- And Valverde admitted he had little choice but to scythe down Morata late on
Real Madrid star Fede Valverde apologised to Alvara Morata after cynically fouling the striker
Valverde was dismissed for the challenge with the Atletico Madrid frontman through on goal
Thibaut Courtois’ penalty save had ensured that Real Madrid lifted the Spanish Super Cup
Diego Simeone refused to condemn Valverde’s actions and even appeared to sympathise
Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde apologised to Alvaro Morata after his sending off for scything down the Atletico Madrid striker late on in the two rivals’ Spanish Super Cup final clash.
Morata had found himself racing through on goal in the 115th minute of the showpiece, but was prevented from becoming the hero after Valverde’s last-ditch cynical intervention.
Despite later being named the man of the match, Valverde admitted his wrongdoing but insisted he had little choice but to make the challenge.
‘I apologise to Alvaro Morata,’ he said. ‘I know it’s not good what I did, but I didn’t have any other option.’
Diego Simeone’s men were left infuriated after the dismissal, with tensions boiling over in Saudi Arabia and neither side able to break the deadlock.
But it was the 10 men of Real who went on to lift the trophy after beating their arch-rivals following a penalty shootout.
Thibaut Courtois continued his fine form for Los Blancos by stopping Thomas Partey’s strike, and sealed a 4-1 win on spot kicks.
And the Atletico boss believes it was the actions of Valverde that had ultimately decided the contest, with Simeone even appearing to have sympathised with his fellow South American as he walked off the field.
Refusing to condemn Valverde’s actions, he said: ‘It was the most important piece of play.
‘I told him (Valverde) that he did what he had to do at that moment. I think the prize for the best player makes perfect sense because Valverde won the game in this action.’
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy, Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos (Vinicius 103), Modric, Isco (Rodrygo 60), Jovic (Mariano 83)
Subs not used: Areola, Militao, Marcelo, Rodriguez
Goals: (Shootout) Carvajal, Rodrygo, Modric, Ramos
Yellows: Modric, Mendy, Carvajal
Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Lodi (Llorente 89), Gimenez (Savic 98), Felipe, Trippier, Niguez, Thomas, Herrera (Vitolo 56), Correa, Felix (Arias 101), Morata
Subs not used: Adan, Hermoso, Riquelme
Goals: (Shootout) Trippier
Yellows: Thomas, Felipe, Correa, Gimenez
Zinedine Zidane shared a similar view to his opposite number, adding: ‘He did what he had to do. It was a crude foul, it had to be done at that time.
‘At the end the important thing was that he apologised to Morata because they know each other very well.’
The Real and Juventus legend extended his superb record in finals in the process, with Zidane having guided the club to nine victories out of a possible nine across his two spells in charge.
President Florentino Perez later hailed the Frenchman as ‘a blessing from heaven’.