Federico Valverde was named the MVP of the Supercopa de Espana final despite a cynical extra-time red card that prompted the Real Madrid midfielder to apologise to Alvaro Morata.
Ten-man Madrid beat city rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties after a goalless draw in Saudi Arabia.
But former Madrid star Morata might have proven the hero for Atleti in the 115th minute had Valverde not taken drastic action, chopping down the striker from behind as he bore down on goal.
Atleti reacted furiously to the challenge, and their mood was not improved when Thibaut Courtois made a crucial save from Thomas Partey in the shoot-out.
Madrid won 4-1 and Valverde was then pronounced the man of the match. Facing the media due to the award, he offered an apology.
"I apologise to Alvaro Morata," he said. "I know it's not good what I did, but I didn't have any other option."
Valverde has consistently impressed this season and added of a breakout campaign: "I'm very happy. It's something you train for, you work for, you fight for, to have good results.
"Things are working out well. I'm getting minutes on the pitch, playing, the team is winning. It's fantastic. I'm enjoying every minute of my life, an amazing time.
"As well as winning titles with the team, I am also going to become a father. So many positive things are happening and I'm trying my best to enjoy them."