UEFA Super Cup: 2021 Edition

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UEFA Super Cup

A good many football leagues and competitions were cut short in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those, the two notable tournaments were the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League. Their rescheduling also impacted the 2020 UEFA Super Cup, which was played among reduced spectators in September 2020.

The good news is that the 2020-2021 editions of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League are back on track. With less spectator attendance, we can hope for a hassle-free 2021 UEFA Super Cup, the 46th edition.

The UEFA Super Cup is a single match contested by the winners of both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. The football match is contested every year where the two teams compete for the super cup trophy.

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The UEFA Super Cup: A Brief History

The idea for a super cup was conceived by Anton Witkamp, a Dutch sports editor. He wished to test and witness the greatness of Ajax’s legendary team of the 1970s, led by Johan Cruyff. The idea was that the winners of both the European Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup would contest for a trophy called the super cup. However, his proposal was rejected by UEFA.

The UEFA Super Cup

Regardless, the first super cup match between Ajax and Rangers FC in 1972 was not officially recognized by the UEFA because of the latter’s ban. The first super cup formally recognized by the UEFA was played in 1973 between Ajax and A.C. Milan. Ajax Amsterdam won both matches.

Till 1997, the competition was played in a two-legged format; however, a change was made in 1997 for a single match. This was because multiple super cup fixtures were canceled over the preceding two decades because of various reasons.

Following the 1998–99 season, the competition’s format changed. The UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was discontinued, and the UEFA Super Cup was contested between the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, then called the UEFA Cup.

From 1998 to 2012, Stade Louis II, a stadium in Monaco, and the home stadium of AS Monaco was the primary venue of the UEFA Super Cup. However, the venues were shuffled, starting from 2013.

Several teams have contested for the super cup over the years, with teams from different nations and leagues bagging the trophy.

Contest Rules

The UEFA Super Cup is played like any other single football match, and is played in a neutral venue, predetermined by a host selection process. The match is played in two halves of 4 minutes each. If the correct score today remain level after 90 minutes, the match goes in 30 minutes extra time. In case of a tie, the result is determined via a penalty shoot-out.

2021 UEFA Super Cup: Host Selection

In September 2018, UEFA opened a bidding process for host selection of the various UEFA competitions. A year later, Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was selected as the 2021 UEFA Super Cup venue. The stadium has a capacity of 18,434 spectators.

2021 UEFA Super Cup: The Match

The 2021 UEFA Super Cup will be contested between the winners of the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League and the 2020-2021 UEFA Europa League.

The UEFA Champions League winners will get the privilege of being the home team and wearing the home jersey. The UEFA Europa League winners are designated as the away team and have to choose between an away kit and a third kit.

Bayern Munich are the current UEFA Super Cup holders, having won it in a 2-1 win against Sevilla in 2020.

UEFA Super Cup

Trophy

The UEFA Super Cup trophy weighs 12.2 kg and measures 58 centimeters in height. However, a full-size replica is awarded to the winning teams, whereas UEFA holds the original trophy.

UEFA permanently awarded a copy of the original trophy to teams that won the competition five times or three times in a row. But, this recognition was only applicable till 2008, which is why only A.C. Milan was awarded the original trophy in 2007. On the other hand, FC Barcelona has also won the competition five times, but 3 of the wins have come after 2008.

Records

Team Records:

  1. FC Barcelona and A.C. Milan are the most successful teams winning the UEFA Super Cup five times.
  2. Real Madrid and Liverpool are the second most successful teams winning the UEFA Super Cup four times.
  3. Spanish teams are the most successful in the competition, appearing in the finals on 28 occasions, sharing 15 winner trophies among them and 13 runners-up trophies.
  4. Sevilla and Real Madrid are the only teams in the competition with a hattrick of appearances.
  5. A.C. Milan is the only team that holds an original UEFA Super Cup trophy.

Individual Records:

  1. Paolo Maldini and Dani Alves share two super cup records between them, the most number of final appearances (5 each) and the final wins (4 each).
  2. 9 players hold the top scorer title for the UEFA Super Cup competition; all have scored 3 goals each. The notable ones are Gerd Müller, Radamel Falcao, and Lionel Messi.
  3. Lionel Messi holds the distinction of being named the best player in two super cup matches, 2009 and 2015.
  4. Radamel Falcao is the only player who has scored a hattrick in the new format of the UEFA Super Cup.
  5. Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti are the most successful managers in the competition, having won 3 times each.

Conclusion

We understand that the wait has been long, so many of our beloved football leagues and cup competitions were cut short or rescheduled in 2020. It left us with only speculative football news and watching highlights of the previous competitions. However, if you want to stay updated with reliable football news, you should check out this page – Is this Juventus deal possible?

Nonetheless, we hope that the 2021 UEFA Super Cup treats us to another explosive game like many we have witnessed through the years.

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