When Manchester United first won the European Cup back in 1968 there was a Super Cup of sorts. In those days the game was played between the winners of the Copa Libertadores in South America and the European champions.
It was a two-legged affair and nearly always bad-tempered with sendings off being the rule rather than the exception.
United played Estudiantes in 1968 with the first leg played in Argentina and the second leg back home at a rainswept Old Trafford. Here’s a link to a nice article on the game for anybody who is interested;
With the probability of injuries, the long travelling times and the usual violence, the validity of these games was questionable and, eventually, the format was scrapped and replaced by what is now known as the Super Cup.
But what is the point of it? No doubt it will raise some money for the teams involved but, in the case of this year’s two sides, do they really need it?
It is a prestigious game in which all the players want to participate but, coming just days before the new season starts it is travelling, yet again, having just returned from long and distant pre-season tours, and it is another game where players could be injured. Not only that but it is also largely irrelevant.
Theoretically it is akin to the winners of the Premier League playing the winners of the Championship, which will actually happen when Chelsea play Brighton during the season. Chelsea will be favourites to win the game in much the same way as Real Madrid will be favourites to win the other game.
The difference is that the Chelsea-Brighton game will mean something and the winners will be awarded three points towards their end of season total.
Manchester United and Real Madrdid, apart from a nice trip to Skopje, will play a meaningless game which nobody, other than the two sets of fans, will remember a year from now.
The game doesn’t even stand up as a marker as to which is the better team because the two have added players since winning the original competitions and are probably more evenly matched now than they would have been had they met last season.
Still, it is another game to watch for the fans who will, no doubt, tune in in their millions to watch it, so the financial aspects of the match cannot be argued against.
Just the game itself is, as said previously, irrelevant and should be scrapped.
(If it was scrapped, my bet is that only a few people would even notice!)