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Sports in brief: Real Madrid captures Copa del Rey cup

Soccer

Ronaldo ends Real Madrid's drought

VALENCIA, Spain — Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the winner in extra time as Real Madrid ended an 18-year Copa del Rey trophy drought with a 1-0 victory over rival Barcelona on Wednesday.

Ronaldo guided Angel Di Maria's 103rd-minute pass back across goal and past goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto into the top corner as Madrid won silverware for the first time since a 2007 Spanish league title.

"We are very happy, Madrid had not won this cup for many years," said Ronaldo, who gave Madrid its 18th domestic cup and also ended a six-game winless run against Barcelona, which lost for only the 10th time in its 35th final appearance.

Coach Jose Mourinho bowed before King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia as he received his minitrophy, while goalkeeper Casillas hugged the pair before using the king as support to climb up on a support and hoist the trophy high.

The teams meet again April 27 for the first of a two-legged Champions League semifinal series.

Man U most valuable: Manchester United, owned by the Bucs' Glazer family, has been ranked soccer's most valuable team by Forbes magazine for the seventh year in a row. Taking into account income, profitability and debt levels, Forbes said United's value rose to $1.9 billion. Real Madrid, Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Barcelona round out the top five.

Tennis

Nadal rolls, backs Spain's appeal

Men's No. 1 Rafael Nadal opened his bid for a sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver, then threw his support behind the Spanish federation's appeal over the United States' choice of playing surface for the Davis Cup quarterfinal.

Nadal said the surface, called Indoor Hard Premiere, was unknown to him and his teammates. The Spanish federation says the company that makes the surface is not on the list of 91 manufacturers approved by the International Tennis Federation.

"If … (the surface) is not among the official ones, it should be ruled out or stiff fines should be applied, because for tournaments like that $50,000 is peanuts," Nadal said.

Horse

Breeders' Cup to defray travel costs

Breeders' Cup officials said they will pick up the travel tab for the winners of the 68 "win-and-in" races for the Nov. 4-5 world championships at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. The series will include the first challenge races in Argentina and Japan, and the winners of the Haskell Invitational, Hollywood Gold Cup and Jockey Club Gold Cup will automatically qualify for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

More horses: Trainer Kathleen O'Connell said she plans to enter Tampa Bay Derby winner Watch Me Go in the Kentucky Derby on May 7 if the colt, ranked 21st at $235,000, qualifies through graded earnings. The field is capped at 20 starters, but several horses higher on the list are not expected to run.

ET CETERA

Autos: Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone insisted that F1 is not for sale, brushing off Sky News reports that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is interested in taking over the sport. "It is all rubbish," Ecclestone told British newspaper The Times.

Boxing: Heavyweights Wladimir Klitschko (IBF and WBO champ) and David Haye (WBA) agreed to the final detail of their long-awaited title bout, selecting Hamburger SV's soccer stadium in Hamburg, Germany for the July 2 fight.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief: Real Madrid captures Copa del Rey cup 04/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:17pm]
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