Ancelotti: Copa del Rey victory inspired Real's stunning run
When Gareth Bale stormed past Barcelona's Marc Bartra and flew up the pitch at Valencia's Estadio de Mestalla to give Real a 2-1 lead in the 85th minute of last season's Copa del Rey final, the Welsh winger kick-started a run of form that would make the Spanish capital club world champions.
That is the opinion of coach Carlo Ancelotti at least, with the Italian claiming Saturday's 2-0 triumph over San Lorenzo in Morocco is a direct progression from that Copa del Rey victory.
After lifting the Copa del Rey, Real went on to claim La Decima - their 10th UEFA Champions League/European Cup title - and the UEFA Super Cup, before adding their first Club World Cup trophy at the Stade de Marrakech.
"The key was the first final we played at the Copa del Rey against Barcelona," Ancelotti said after watching his team defeat Argentina's San Lorenzo.
"Winning that cup gave us confidence for winning later the Champions [League], Super Cup and this one. I think the key moment was that final in Valencia and later the team kept on improving every day and every match."
Fittingly, it was Sergio Ramos - scorer of the vital equaliser in Real's Champions League triumph over rivals Atletico Madrid - who headed home the opener for Ancelotti's team in Morocco, getting on the end of Toni Kroos' corner to make it 1-0 eight minutes before half-time.
And five minutes after the break, Bale wrapped up the victory, receiving Isco's pass just inside the penalty area and side-footing the ball under San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastian Torrico.
But while Bale's goals - both in April and December - could be seen as the ideal bookends to an incredible story for Real, Ancelotti is not interested in ending this chapter yet.
"There is great pride and happiness because I am at a club with so many great players," he said.
"I am very happy because I think we can keep winning matches and extend the run we are on. We have had an unforgettable year but I think that we can look to the future with a very positive attitude.
"We have a very strong squad with some great players. The team more than deserve to win this trophy and now we can say that Real Madrid are the best team in the world."