MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The UEFA Super Cup between the Champions League winners Liverpool FC and Europa League Champions Chelsea FC is scheduled to kick off at the over 41,000-seat capacity Vadafone Park in Turkey’s Istanbul on the night of August 14.
The UEFA Super Cup is an official event, which precedes the opening of the European football tournament. The UEFA Super Cup is a one-match event contested by the winning clubs of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
In 1972, Anton Witkamp, a reporter with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, proposed holding an annual tournament to determine the best club between the winners of the European Cup (today's UEFA Champions League) and the European Cup Winners’ Cup (ceased to exist in 1999). The format proposed by Witkamp stipulated a two-match encounter played at home stadiums of both clubs.
In 1972, Dutch football club Ajax won the European Cup, while Scotland’s Rangers grabbed the European Cup Winners’ Cup. On January 16 and 24, 1973, Ajax and Rangers clashed in Glasgow and Amsterdam respectively.
Ajax won both encounters enjoying the 3-1 win in the first leg match and the 3-2 win in the second-leg match. However, the UEFA refused to officially recognize the results of the matches, since Scotland’s Rangers were suspended at that time for misbehavior of their fans during the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Dynamo Moscow FC.
The very first Super Cup, which was officially recognized by the UEFA, took place in January 1974. The two-match encounter brought together Dutch FC Ajax (the European Cup winners of the 1972/1973 season) and Italy’s Milan FC (the winner of the European Cup Winners’ Cup of the 1972/1973 season). The Super Cup trophy went to Ajax, which lost 0-1 in the first match and then blazed past the opponents in the return match 6-0. Ajax FC’s aggregate win of 6-1 was officially recognized by the UEFA at that time and the Dutch club went into history as the 1973 UEFA Super Cup winner.
In 1974, the UEFA Super Cup did not take place as the two finalists, Bayern Munich (the Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany) and Magdeburg (the German Democratic Republic or East Germany) failed to agree on the venues and the timeframe for the matches.
The UEFA Super Cup tournament was held annually since 1975, except for 1981, when England’s Liverpool and Dinamo Tbilisi failed to agree on the timeframe for the matches, and 1985, when all English football clubs had been banned from European tournaments for five years due to hooliganism of its fans and the match between England’s Everton FC against Italy’s Juventus was cancelled.
In 1984, the UEFA Super Cup’s winner was decided only in one match, since the tight schedule of Liverpool FC (the winner of the 1983/1984 Euro Cup) stipulated not more than one day for the game against Italy’s Juventus (the winner of the European Cup Winners’ Cup of the 1983/1984 season). The trophy went to Juventus as the Italian club enjoyed a 2-0 win at home.
The UEFA Super Cup in 1986 was an experiment as it was contested in one match on a neutral territory. Romania’s Steaua Bucharest defeated 1-0 Dynamo Kiev at the Stade Louis II in Monaco.
In 1991, due to a complicated political situation in Yugoslavia, Manchester United FC played only one match against Belgrade’s Crvena Zvezda for the UEFA Super Cup. The trophy went to the English club, which enjoyed 1-0 victory at home.
UEFA Super Cups since 1998
Since 1998 and until today, the winner of the UEFA Super Cup is determined by a single match.
After the European Cup Winners’ Cup was abolished following the 1998/1999 season, the UEFA Super Cup has been contested by the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup.
The Stade Louis II Arena in Monaco was the permanent venue for the annual UEFA Super Cup matches between 1998 and 2012.
The UEFA Super Cup has been contested since 2010 by the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the winners of the UEFA Europa League, which replaced the UEFA Cup after the 2009/2010 season.
In 2012, the UEFA ruled against holding Super Cups at the permanent venue, i.e. at the Stade Louis II Arena in Monaco, and based on filed applications the organization started searching for new venues to host the landmark football tournament. The 2013 UEFA Super Cup was played at the Eden Arena (Prague, the Czech Republic), in 2014 at the Cardiff City Stadium (Cardiff, Wales), in 2015 at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena (Tbilisi, Georgia), in 2016 at the Lerkendal Stadium (Trondheim, Norway), in 2017 at the Philip II Arena (Skopje, Macedonia).
The Trophy and prize money
Since 2006 the winner of the UEFA Super Cup is awarded with the trophy, which weighs 12.2 kg (27 pounds) and measures 58 cm (23 inches) in height. It is a classical cup mounted on a platform with two handles on both sides, which resembles a curled leather leaf. The Super Cup trophy is retained by UEFA at all times and the winning club is getting a replica of the trophy.
The prize money for the 2019 UEFA Super Cup winners totals 4.5 million euros (over $5 million) and 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) for the runners-up.
The winners of the UEFA Champions League tournaments won 23 out of 43 UEFA Super Cup encounters.
Most of the UEFA Super Cups went to Spanish football clubs (five to Barcelona FC; four to Real FC; three to Atletico FC; two to Valencia FC; and one to Sevilla FC). The Italian clubs got hold of the Super Cup nine times (five times by Milan FC, two times by Juventus and one time each by Lazio and Parma). English clubs won the Super Cup seven times (three by Liverpool FC; and one by Aston Villa FC, Manchester United FC, Nottingham Forrest FC and Chelsea FC each).
The UEFA Super Cup five times went to Spain’s Barcelona (1992, 1997, 2009, 2011, 2015) and Italy’s Milan (1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007). Spain’s Real Madrid conquered the UEFA Super Cup four times (2002, 2014, 2016, 2017), England’s Liverpool got hold of it three times (1977, 2001, 2005) as well as Spain’s Atletico (2010, 2012, 2018).
The footballers, who won most of the UEFA Super Cup trophies, include Brazilian defender Dani Alves (Sevilla FC - 2006; Barcelona FC - 2009, 2011, 2015) and Italian defender Paolo Maldini (Milano FC - 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003).
Two head coaches led their clubs to win the UEFA Super Cup three times each and they are Italy’s Carlo Ancelotti (Milano FC - 2003 and 2007; Real FC - 2014) and Spain’s Josep Guardiola (Barcelona FC - 2009 and 2011; Bayern Munich FC - 2013).
Soviet and Russian football clubs at UEFA Super Cups
The Soviet Union’s football club, Dynamo Kiev, won the UEFA Super Cup trophy in 1975. The club defeated Bayern FC in both matches 1-0 and 2-0.
On August 26, 2005, Russia’s CSKA Moscow (the UEFA Cup winners) lost 1-3 to England’s Liverpool FC (the UEFA Champions League winners).
On August 29, 2008, Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg (the UEFA Cup winners) defeated 2-1 England’s Manchester United (the UEFA Champions League winners). Zenit St. Petersburg FC is currently the only Russian football club to win the UEFA Super Cup.
2018 UEFA Super Cup
The 43rd edition of the UEFA Super Cup was played on August 15, 2018 at the A. Le Coq Arena in the Estonian capital of Tallinn between two Spanish football clubs - Real Madrid (the winner of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League) and Atletico Madrid (the winner of the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League). The extra time in the match brought Atletico Madrid the win of 4-2 over their opponents.
2019 UEFA Super Cup
Two football clubs from England would clash against each other for the first time in the history of UEFA Super Cups and they are the Champions League winners Liverpool FC and Europa League Champions Chelsea FC. For the first time ever, a female team of referees, led by Stephanie Frappart, was appointed to officiate the 2019 UEFA Super Cup. Frappart, 35, was appointed the head referee of the match, while Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O'Neill from the Republic of Ireland will serve as the assistant referees. The innovative Video Assistance Referee (VAR) system would be also in operation during the UEFA Super Cup match in Istanbul on August 14.