Madrid tests its reliability in the finals

European Super Cup

The white team kicks off the official season with the European Super Cup match against Eintracht Frankfurt

Jose Manuel Andres

Competition returns for Real Madrid and it does so in the same way as it did last season, with a European final. Conquering the Champions League in Paris against Liverpool on May 28 opened the doors to the European Super Cup for the white team, a consummate specialist when it comes to securing a continental trophy. In the last 25 years, the team from Chamartín has presented an immaculate eight out of eight in Champions League finals and only lost in one of seven Intercontinental Cup finals and its substitute tournament, the Club World Cup -in 2000 against Boca Juniors -.

The only mole in the Whites' history in terms of games with a title at stake in the international context is precisely the Super Cup, with four finals won but three lost, against Chelsea in 1998, against Galatasaray in 2000 and against Atlético in 2018. The rival now is the surprising Eintracht of Frankfurt, executioner of Betis and also of Barça in the last Europa League. A team that maintains the hallmarks with which they won the second continental competition in Seville, always supported by a crowd capable of taking over the Camp Nou and who will once again be in the majority in Helsinki.

Even the Finnish capital has moved Carlo Ancelotti to the 24 players of the white first team, as well as the third goalkeeper, Luis López. And it is that the Madrid preseason has been extremely placid, without injuries, with the tranquility that the success of the League-Champions League doublet gave and very little noise in terms of the market. A priori idyllic conditions to prepare an early assault on the first title of the season, which in Madrid they have between eyebrows according to the exhaustive physical preparation devised by Antonio Pintus to arrive in top form at the start of the official competition.

Surprises are not expected, Carletto is not fond of making unnecessary changes when everything works. The old guard continues to support this legendary midfield Madrid, as Casemiro, Kroos and Modric point to the starters, with the undisputed Courtois under sticks, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba and Mendy in defense and Valverde along with Benzema and Vinicius as trident of attack. The same eleven protagonists of the Champions League final, with the signed Tchouaméni and Rüdiger waiting for an opportunity from the bench.

Face Eintracht, rival in that mythical 1960 European Cup final, played in Glasgow with a resounding 7-3 white and turned into a cult duel for fans of historical football. The golden generation of Madrid in the 1950s with Di Stéfano, Puskas, Gento, Kopa or Rial put the icing on the cake against the Frankfurt team, and now against the same opponent, this group of current players intends to continue cementing their legend with a new title.

An opponent hit

The German team arrives hit by the resounding win against Bayern Munich (1-6) in their debut in the Bundesliga, but also by the imminent loss of what until now was their star, the Serbian left-hander Filip Kostic, whose transfer to Juventus is finalized from the offices, preventing it from being part of the rest of the German expedition so as not to put the operation at risk. Neither is Martin Hinteregger, defensive leader of the Europa League champion, who surprised locals and strangers alike with his premature retirement from professional football and now has fun playing for an amateur club in Austria. They are the two most sensitive casualties compared to the team that surprised the Old Continent last season, in contrast to their discreet participation in the Bundesliga, which they completed in the middle of the table.

Olivier Glasner's team continues to bet on a scheme with three central defenders and two lanes, with the counterattack after recovering the ball as a key tool and a great physical display. Mario Götze, the scorer of the goal that gave Germany its fourth World Cup in 2014, returns to German football after two seasons at PSV Eindhoven in which he has been important. At 30 years old, the talented attacking midfielder intends to recover the best version of himself and definitively forget physical problems. If he manages to achieve a version similar to the player he was, he will be one of the great threats for this almost infallible Madrid in the finals.

-Probable alignments:

  • Real Madrid:
    Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema and Vinicius.

  • Eitracht:
    Trapp, Knauff, Touré, N'Dicka, Tuta, Lenz, Sow, Rode, Kamada, Borré and Götze.

  • Referee:
    Michael Oliver (England).

  • Stadium:
    Helsinki Olympic.

  • Time and TV:
    9:00 pm. Movistar Champions League.

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