The European Super Cup final in Tbilisi next Tuesday will be the first challenge in Barça’s attempt to claim six trophies in the season 2015/16. Aside from the collective goal, the meeting with Sevilla will also be an important personal milestone for many of the blaugrana squad. The team have not competed in the competition since 2011 and for several players it will be their first appearance in a European Super Cup final.
There are 11 members of the squad who have not played in the competition before. Ter Stegen, Bravo, Masip, Rakitic, Suárez, Rafinha, Sandro, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Vermaelen and Mathieu all have the chance to make debuts on Tuesday in Georgia as none of them were part of the squad that claimed a fourth win in the competition back in 2011 in Monaco.
Marc Bartra, however, did travel with the squad to the principality some four years ago when he was still officially a Barça B player. Unfortunately for the central defender he had to be content with watching the game from the stands. Therefore, against Sevilla, he could also make his first appearance in the final.
In contrast, eight players from the current squad do know what it is to win the Super Cup with Piqué, Sergio, Alves, Pedro, Iniesta, Messi, Mascherano and Adriano all playing a part in the 2011 victory over FC Porto.
There are three players who could have made their debuts in the final. Unfortunately, Douglas and Jordi Alba will miss out due to injury and Neymar will also be absent due to illness. The Brazilian defender picked up a hamstring problem against Chelsea during the recent US tour, whilst the left back pulled up in the Gamper Trophy game with AS Roma on Wednesday at Camp Nou. Neymar for his part, misses out after having been diagnosed with parotitis (mumps) on Sunday. The two defenders, nevertheless, will travel to Georgia with the rest of the squad for the game against Unai Emery's team.