If you’ve just started following Spanish football, you may be confused about some of the competitions played in the country. The Spanish Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey are two big competitions played in Spain.
But what’s the difference between them?
Here’s what you need to know:
- 1 The difference between the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey
- 2 Number of teams
- 3 Competition format
- 4 Extra time and penalties
- 5 Number of matches
- 6 Eligible teams
- 7 Frequency and Duration
- 8 Squad Size
- 9 Prizes for winning the competition
- 10 Verdict
- 11 Which is better between the Spanish Super Cup and Copa Del Rey?
The difference between the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa Del Rey
The Spanish Super Cup (or Supercopa de España), is a mini-tournament contested by 4 of the best performing teams from La Liga and Copa Del Rey in the previous season. Meanwhile, the Copa Del Rey is the official cup competition in Spain which is contested by 126 teams each year.
Here is an in-depth explanation of the differences between the two competitions:
Number of teams
The Spanish Super Cup is contested by four teams: the winners of the Copa Del Rey and La Liga, as well as, the runners-up of both competitions.
This is a relatively new format that began in 2020. Before that, the competition was only played by two teams: the winners of La Liga and Copa Del Rey.
Furthermore, the competition is now held in a foreign country (Saudi Arabia in 2022), instead of Spain!
Meanwhile, the Copa Del Rey has 126 teams each season that come from all tiers of professional Spanish football.
The Spanish Super Cup is a four-team knockout tournament. The winners of the Copa Del Rey and La Liga alongside the runners-up of both competitions are drawn against each other randomly into a semi-final tie and the winners go on to play the final.
Meanwhile, the Copa Del Rey is a knockout competition. This means that the winner of each match will progress on to the next stage.
The loser will automatically be eliminated from the competition!
Extra time and penalties
If a game in the Spanish Super Cup ends in a draw after 90 minutes, the game goes to extra time and then penalties. This applies to both the semi-final and final games.
You can find out more about penalty shootouts in this guide.
For the Copa Del Rey, extra time and penalties are present in every round of the competition from the preliminaries all the way to the final.
Unlike the FA Cup, the Copa Del Rey does not have replays.
Number of matches
The Spanish Super Cup only consists of a semi-final and final. This makes two games available to each side to win the competition.
In the Copa Del Rey, there are 7 rounds to be played before teams can win the final. All of the teams in Spain will start playing in Round 1, including teams from La Liga.
However, the four teams that participate in the Spanish Super Cup don’t join the competition till the Last 32 stage.
To be eligible for the Spanish Super Cup, you need to either win or be the runner-up in La Liga or Copa Del Rey. This qualifies you for the next season’s Spanish Super Cup.
If the same team wins both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey, the 4th team in the Super Cup will be the third-placed team in La Liga.
For the Copa Del Rey, every official team in the Spanish football pyramid is eligible to contest in the tournament. This includes clubs from La Liga all the way down to the grassroots level.
Frequency and Duration
Both competitions are held annually.
The semi-finals and finals of the Spanish Super Cup are played in January and are played within the same week.
The Copa Del Rey begins in November and the final is played in May. Unlike the FA Cup, top-flight teams join from the first round, so you can see some upsets very early in the competition.
The Spanish Super Cup allows a maximum of 22 players in the squad. This includes 11 starters and 11 players on the substitute’s bench.
The rules for the Copa Del Rey are the same. Coaches are required to name a 22-man squad for the match.
Prizes for winning the competition
Here are the prizes teams will receive for winning the competitions:
The winners of the Spanish Super Cup add the Super Cup trophy to their cabinet. The winners also get £3,800,000 in prize money.
For the Copa Del Rey, the winners will be crowned the Spanish Cup Champions. Moreover, they will achieve automatic qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stages, as well as an accumulative cash price of £1,800,000.
Here is the summary of the comparison between the Spanish Super Cup and Copa Del Rey:
|Spanish Super Cup||Copa Del Rey|
|Duration||4-5 days||November – May|
|Eligible teams||2 winners and 2 runners-up |
off La Liga and Copa Del Rey
|All Spanish professional clubs|
|Number of matches||2||Max of 7|
|Presence of replays||No||No|
|Prizes for winning||Spanish Super |
|Europa League + Spanish Super Cup|
Which is better between the Spanish Super Cup and Copa Del Rey?
The Copa Del Rey may be considered to be more prestigious than the Spanish Super Cup as it gives teams that chance to qualify for the UEFA Europa League and is a more historical competition.
However, with the Spanish Super Cup expanding and now being played abroad, the value of the competition will continue to rise in the coming years.
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