The Spanish Super Cup Diary

The Spanish Super Cup Diary

All the news at it happens in Saudi Arabia, from where FC Barcelona are hoping to bring home the Spanish Super Cup trophy

This is the go-to page for all the latest news and pictures from Saudi Arabia, where Barça are one of four teams contesting the Spanish Super Cup this week. All times CET (two hours earlier than local time in Riyadh).


10.00 pm Real Madrid take the Spanish Super with a 4-1 win in Riyadh! The game as it happened in our Match Center.

6.10 pm. 🚎 The FC Barcelona bus has left the hotel and is in it's way to the stadium, where some fans have already made their way through the turnstiles and are slowly filling up the terraces.



5.05 pm. 💙❤️ Barça will be playing in their home strip this evening. In fact, the shirts are already in place awaiting the players' arrival. 

5.00 pm. How are the nerves? Three hours until kick-off but there already shirted supporters hanging around outside the stadium.

9.30 am Shall we take a tour around Al-Awwal Park? 👀 The dressing rooms, the stands... in a stadium that will host the Super Cup final, and also where Mané, Cristiano and Laporte play. The Al Nassr colours are present everywhere, with yellow to represent the sand of the Arabian peninsula, and blue for the sea surrounding it. 


9.20 am Want to see the run up to a Clásico from the inside? 🤓


9.10 pm The big day is here! Today the Super Cup draws to a close and it is a Clásico to boot. Another chapter of the Super Clásico in Riyadh.



9.20 pm. 😏 Pedri, what way to the Super Cup final?


9.15pm. They is over, for after training at the Al-Nassr facility, the players have gone back to their hotel for dinner and good night's rest.

9.20pm. Joan Laporta and his Real Madrid equivalent, Florentino Perez, paid a visit this afternoon to the Spanish Embassy in Riyadh👇


6.50pm. 🛞 The Dakar Rally is also passing through the Saudi capital right now, and the FC Barcelona delegation popped by to visit.


5.55pm. 🔴 These were the first 15 minutes of training on Saturday for tomorrow's game.


5.11pm. Time for Barça captain Sergi Roberto to take to the microphone: "I'm really excited about being captain in a Clásico. I hope we win, but we need to hold onto the ball and stay focused until the very last minute because Madrid always fight right to the end. They're in top form and have a top quality forward in Bellingham. It's important to score first to take off some of the pressure. A Clásico is always a leveller. It's such a big rivalry, and both teams have the strength to match the other. I really hope we can come up with a performance like last year. We played so well. And winning this would be a huge boost for the rest of the season."

3.30pm. Real Madrid captain Nacho has been speaking to the media: "We know what happened last year, but we are in good form coming into this game. We have a special squad and we're all very united. Despite the injuries, we are top of the league and won our Champions League group. We always compete no matter what players we have But Barça have their own history. It doesn't matter whether Barça are strong or weak at the moment, we will have to play our best no matter what."

1.15pm. ⚔️ Xavi Hernández and Carlo Ancelotti crossed paths between their respective press conferences and posed for a photo together.


11.00am.  "He is one of the best coaches in the world, ever, he has trophies everywhere he has been and left his mark. I have great respect for him." Mutual respect is the order of the day in Riyadh as Barça boss Xavi touches on his admiration for his opposite number Ancelotti amongst other topics in his appearance in the press room. 📽👇


10.00am. Carlo Ancelotti appears in a press conference ahead of Sunday's final with plenty praise for his opposite number. "Xavi is doing a great job as Barça coach. His career as a player, one of the best midfielders in the world, is going to help him a lot," said Real Madrid's Italian coach. 

9.00am. Here is how today looks in Riyadh with the final against Real Madrid to come on Sunday.

📸 Official Super Cup coaches' photo with Xavi Hernández and Carlo Ancelotti. 

🎤 Xavi press conference at 10.45am.  

🎤 Sergi Roberto press conference at 5.15pm. 

🏋️‍♂️Training at Al Nassr facilities. 


9.00pm Balde and Lamine Yamal took time out from preparations for Sunday's final to take our 7 Second Challenge, Super Cup special. Who will come out on top? 


2.00pm. In the morning local time, the squad held a recovery session in the hotel. 📸

1.15pm. 🔊 Deco: has spoken the media, and his words reflected the only thing that Barça fans care about right now. Beating Real Madrid in the final! 

12.52pm. Bad news concerning Raphinha. He has injured his his biceps femoris muscle in his left thigh and won't be able to play in the final.

12.00pm. 😏 Today is the anniversary of last season's Super Cup Final. That won ended very nicely indeed, with Barça beating Madrid convincingly 3-1. More of the same on Sunday would be lovely. 

10.05am. ☀️ A sunny morning in Riyadh as the team wakes up with a smile as they remember last night's events. Later today, they'll be working out in the hotel, where several fans are mingling outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of their idols. 


10.19pm. Xavi says: "Osasuna has one of the best defences in the league. We often found it hard to find a free man. We played a serious game and we're pleased." 🎥👇


10.12pm. Deco, speaking to Movistar+, says: "The first half was very tight but we played much better in the second."

10.05pm. Frenkie de Jong, MVP says, "we played a serious game. It was hard to find spaces because Osasuna are so tight at the back and defended well as a unit.!


10.00pm. Goals from Lewandowski and Lamine Yamal give Barça a 2-0 win over Osasuna and a place in the final against Real Madrid on Sunday - Frenkie de Jong is named man of the match. 

8.00pm. And the game kicks off. The coverage continues in our live match blog.

7.50 pm. The lights dim to welcome the teams onto the field. Araujo, Gündoğan, Pedri and Lewandowski are names that get a particularly raucous response when their names are read out over the tannoy. 

7.30 pm. 💙❤️ The stadium is filling up, with some very excited locals looking forward to the chance to their superstar  heroes in action live in their city. Plenty of Barça shirts dotted around the terraces, and also a good number of red Osasuna jerseys, with some 500 of their supporters having made the long trip east to watch their team playing in the competition for the first time.

6.45 pm. ❗️Xavi has named his team for the semi-final: Iñaki Peña, Balde, ⁠R. Araujo, Ferran, Lewandowski, Raphinha, Christensen, S. Roberto, F. De Jong, Gündoğan and Kounde. And there's great news because Pedri has been declared fully fit and will be on the substitutes bench. So he might even play!

6.40 pm. 😊 Concentration and joy on people's faces as the kick-off time draws nearer.


6.16 pm. The players are doing a pitch inspection in the KSU Stadium. And the fans are also starting to trickle into the stadium, with music blaring on the PA system. 

5.55 pm. 🤩 The FC Barcelona dressing room is ready for the players to arrive. Barça will be wearing the white strip this evening.


5.45 pm. The players are on their way to Al-Awwal Park, the home of Al Nassr in the Saudi Super League, and along with the club's yellow and blue colours, there are also symbols of the competition being played right now, along with a dazzling display of lights.

4.50 pm. With little more than three hours to kick-off, the players have enjoyed an afternoon snack at the hotel.

2.20 pm 📸 Here's a selection of the best photos as the FC Barcelona players and Joan Laporta meet at the team hotel:

1.00 pm Just 7 hours to go until the semi-final against Osasuna. Let's get in the mood with some superb goals by Barça in previous Spanish Super Cups, featuring sublime strikes by Deco, Xavi, Messi, Villa and many more.


12.20 pm FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, arrives in Riyadh for this evening's game. His arrival coincided with the players having lunch. 🎥👇


9.00 am Barça and Osasuna go head to head this evening to try to book their place in the 2024 Super Cup final, where Real Madrid await. The venue for the second semi-final is the KSU Stadium, the home of Al Nassr, a side with a yellow and blue strip and whose name means victory, precisely what the blaugranes need today to reach the final. Here's a preview of the game:

8.00 am The city of Riyadh wakes up to bright sunshine illuminating the surroundings, with the sandy colours of the surrounding desert evident on the horizon. Xavi Hernández' side are already up and about having breakfast at the hotel.


11.10 pm Just a quick reminder that kick-off is at 8pm CET tomorrow. Click here for when and where to watch FC Barcelona v Osasuna in other locations around the world. 🗺️


11.02 pm So, another busy day for the blaugranes, with more training for tomorrow's match. Here's a behind the scenes look of day two in Riyadh 👇

10.40 pm
We now know the first 2024 Super Cup finalist and potential opponent for Barça should they overcome Osasuna to reach the final, as Real Madrid have defeated Atlético Madrid 5-3 after extra time. The all-whites had to come from behind twice in the game, the second time forcing extra time, which saw a Savić own goal and a breakaway finish into an empty goal by Brahim Diaz seal the win.

7.25 pm 📸 Some of the best shots from today's training at the Prince Faisal stadium.

6.40 pm In case you missed it, here are some links to the main thoughts expressed by Xavi Hernández and Ronald Araujo during the pre-match press conference, when both coach and captain emphasised the need to be more decisive in both areas, and that lifting the Super Cup could prove a turning point.

6.30 pm. ⚽️ Training and press conference complete, FC Barcelona may be winding down their second and first full day in Riyadh, but the first semi-final is to come this evening, kick-off 8.00 pm, when Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid will want to ensure their place in the Super Cup final.

5.40 pm 🗣️ “Barça may seem somewhat out of sorts, but that's not the case when you analyse it. They are even criticised when they win, just because it's only by one goal. We expect the best Barcelona tomorrow, as they come alive for these types of fixtures, while also being the current champion”, explained Osasuna's coach, Arrasaste.

5.35 pm 🗣️ “I could have never imagined everything I have achieved both individually and collectively. We are a competitive and solid team... and that will definitely be evident on the pitch tomorrow”, stated central defender David García.

5.30 pm Osasuna followed the blaugranes by training on the pitch where Neymar and Ruben Neves play for the Saudi Arabian league leaders, Al-Hilal, before their own pre-match press conference, with quotes to come.

4.00 pm LIVE 🔴 Watch FC Barcelona train as preparations for the Super Cup semi-final against Osasuna continue. 


3.47 pm. 🗣️ In his press conference, Xavi says "we want to find our game again and keep it going. We need to play a complete game against a solid side, who have a great coach and who can generate all kinds of different scenarios ... The click we need to win might come from winning the Super Cup, it certainly helped us last season."

3.42 pm. Speaking to the press, Ronald Araujo says "we have a great team. We aren't quite clinical enough in both areas. But we have top quality players to turn this situation around."

3.00 pm. 🚎 The FC Barcelona coach has departed to the venue of today's training session, the Prince Faisal Stadium. What with the dense traffic in the city, the journey takes the best part of an hour. 

1.00 pm. The players have had lunch and Xavi Hernández and Ronald Araujo will be giving press conferences shortly, after which the team will train in the Prince Faisal Stadium. 

10.00 am. 🏋️‍♂️ The Barça players have started doing a warm-up workout in the hotel. 

9.35 am. 👀 As we wait for training to start, here's a behind-the-scenes video of the trip to Riyadh. And you have a commentary by Ferran Torres, who was with us for training at the Ciutat Esportiva, during the flight and on arrival in the Saudi capital. 


9.00 am. ⏰ Following the first night in Riyadh the players are up and ready for a busy day preparing for tomorrow's match. They'll be training later this morning at the Prince Faisal Stadium. 


9.50 pm. 🎥 We'll leave you with footage of the blaugrana party arriving in Saudi Arabia, further updates tomorrow.

8.22 pm.
The team are now resting at the hotel as a busy day awaits the blaugranes tomorrow. First Xavi and Ronald Araujo will attend the pre-match press conference (3:15 pm), before joining the rest of the party for the final training session at the Prince Faisal stadium (4:00 pm).

7.30 pm. Meanwhile, the other two semi-finalists, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, have already trained in Saudi Arabia and held their respective pre-match press conferences. They play each other tomorrow, 10 January, kick-off 8:00 pm.

6.43 pm. The blaugranes are now in Riyadh, where the current temperature is 16ºC and the local time is 8.43pm. After a welcome with flowers, tea, and cameras, the travelling party headed off to the hotel to settle into their new surroundings.

5.15 pm. Time to put yourself to the test while the blaugranes are in the air. It's either true or false in this game about the Spanish Super Cup. PLAY HERE

1.28 pm. The plane taking the FC Barcelona travelling party to Riyadh has left El Prat Airport on a six-hour flight east. The players and coaches are being joined on the outward trip by vice-president Rafa Yuste and directiors Xavier Barbany, Miquel Camps, Xavier Puig, Àngel Riudalbas and Joan Soler.


11.30 am. Good morning! Barça have trained on Catalan soil for the last time and now the 25-strong party of players picked by Xavi Hernández are on their way to the airport to get their flight to Saudi Arabia.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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