Soccer: The Spanish Super Cup

Real Madrid v Barcelona – Sunday 14 August – Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid (22:00)

Barcelona v Real Madrid

These two European giants have been touring different parts of the world for pre-season and will now face their first major test before the opening of the season. The Spanish Super Cup takes front stage as this is the first piece of silverware up for grabs.

Real Madrid has returned from a successful pre-season tour of Asia as well as USA. They managed a clean sweep as they returned back to Madrid with a 100% winning record. The spirits are high in the Madrid camp as all the players look geared up for the season ahead. The “Special One”, Jose Mourinho will be looking to go one step better than the previous campaign as they were edged out of the title by their bitter rivals Barcelona. Mourinho was a busy man in the transfer window as he brought three new faces to add to the depth of the squad. His added Portuguese wing-back Fabio Coentrao and the two Turkish internationals Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altıntop to bolster the midfield and striking department. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have continued from where they left off as they keep finding the back of the net with the creative players such as Kaka and Mesut Ozil, providing them with enough assists.

Barcelona has also had a somewhat successful pre-season tour as they visited the likes of USA and played against two Mexican teams as well as their Champions League final opponents Manchester United. They we humiliated by Mexican outfit Chivas as they were defeated 4-1 and were out done by a 2-1 deficit against Manchester United. Despite these setbacks Barcelona still managed to win the Audi Cup held at German giants Bayern Munich’s stadium. Manager Josep Guardiola set out his pre-season to give the upcoming youth players a chance to show whether they can cut it in the first team. One player in particular stood up to the challenge and has stated a strong claim to feature in the first team for the new campaign. Thiago Alcantara is the name on top clubs’ shopping lists, the Spanish under 21 player has even been called up to the national squad as he had more than an impressive pre-season scoring 3 goals in 4 matches. He will not be the only new face in the Barcelona squad as the Catalans have added Chilean sensation Alexis Sanchez to their ranks. Guardiola is a big fan of this player and will look to accommodate him in the best way possible. The Likes of Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Daniel Alves and Carles Puyol will all return to their fold as they were nursing injuries or where given an extra break due to the fact that they took part in the Copa America.

This encounter is always high tempo with end to end stuff. Both teams will be going all out for the victory as this can be a huge morale boost before the start of the season. Madrid are tipped to nip the win in this first leg match.

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