THE UEFA Super Cup is set to kick off tonight in Cardiff City Stadium at 7.45pm GMT (8.45pm LT), and will see the title winners of last year’s Champions and Europa League finals playing to start the new season off with a bang.
Tonight Cardiff will be awash with red and white as it bears witness to a Spanish master class in European football, made all the more significant following Spain’s recent humiliation in the World Cup.
The duel will see an ever dominant Real Madrid duel against Sevilla, Andalucia’s biggest club and unlikely winners of last year’s Europa title after nail biting wins against Sevillian rivals Real Betis, Valencia and Benfica.
Sevilla have won seven titles since 2006, and were not a small threat in last season’s league title race. Veteran Bacca is sure to be on fighting form, as will the promising fresh talent Denis Suárez, meaning that Madrid would be wise to remain on their guard when facing Los Nervionenses.
Madrid for their part boasts such a star-studded lineup that a clash of egos could be a very real problem for manager Ancelotti this season. World Cup winner Tony Kroos has swelled the ranks of the Bernabéu, and is tipped to debut tonight.
Gareth Bale is the player who will perhaps attract most of the media’s attention this evening. Apart from scoring winning goals in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey finals, tonight will provide Bale with a sweet homecoming for the lad who grew up just a couple of miles from the stadium.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Bale himself was in no doubt as to Madrid’s determination to grab yet another title. He said: “I feel in great shape. I don’t feel the pressure of being back home, it’s obviously a big match that we want to win and a trophy we want to win, but it’s another game where I have to put 110% in to try and perform my best.
“It’s nice not being new. For us every season we want to win every trophy we’re in for, no matter what team we’re playing, no matter what trophy we’re playing for, we want to win everything.
“We’ll be trying to win the league, the Champions League this season.”
Kickoff is at 7.45pm GMT, 8.45pm in mainland Spain