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This week brings the first edition of the revamped Spanish Super Cup. With a new date, a new format and a new venue, a lot has changed to what has, since it was created in 1982, traditionally been a two-legged pre-season encounter between the reigning Liga and Copa del Rey champions.
Here’s a look at what we have to look forward to.
The new-look Super Cup now features four teams: the winners and runners-up from the previous season’s league (Barça and Atlético Madrid) plus the winners and runners-up from the cup (Valencia and Barça). As Barça are represented twice, the next highest placed team from last year’s Liga takes the remaining berth (Real Madrid).
The Spanish Super Cup has traditionally been played as a curtain raiser to the new season. However, due to summer tour and other pre-season commitments, it has not always been easy to find a suitable date. Hence the decision to switch to January.
Copa del Rey bye
For the four competing teams, participation in the Super Cup is compensated by all of them getting a direct bye into the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey. Remember the cup has also been changed for the 2019/20 season and all ties until the semi-finals are being played as a single leg.
For the first time, and due to Sevilla’s heavy fixture list due to playing in the Europa league qualifying rounds, last season’s Spanish Super Cup was played as a single game at a neutral venue, Tangier in Morocco. Barça won that game 2-1.
The new-look tournament is also being taken abroad, to the 62,000 capacity King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, opened in 2014.
Wednesday 8 January (10.00pm local, 8.00pm CET): Real Madrid v Valencia
Thursday 9 January (10.00pm local, 8.00pm CET): FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid
Sunday 12 January (9.00pm local, 7.00pm CET)
Barça and Messi the all-time leaders
Barça have won the Spanish Super Cup a record thirteen times, three more than Real Madrid.
Leo Messi is the record goalscorer in the event (13) and has also made the most appearances (18).
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