Supercoppa Italania vs Coppa Italia

Supercoppa Italiania vs Copa Italia – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve just started following Italian football, you may be confused about some of the competitions played in the country. Both the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia sound almost the same, so you may think that they are the same competition!

However, there’s actually a difference between them!

Here’s what you need to know: 

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The difference between the Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia 

The Supercoppa Italiana is a football match contested by the winners of Serie A and Coppa Italia from the previous season. The Coppa Italia on the other hand is the official national cup competition in Italy contested by 44 teams. It is a knockout-style tournament where the loser of each game exits the competition. 

Here’s an in-depth explanation of the difference between the competitions: 

Number of teams 

The Supercoppa Italiana is contested by two teams in a one-off match. Meanwhile, the Coppa Italia is contested by teams from the top 3 leagues of Italian football (Serie A, B and C). As a result, 44 teams participated in the 2020-2021 Coppa Italia campaign. 

The tournament used to have 78 teams but was reduced to 44 ahead of the 21-22 season.

Competition format 

The Supercoppa Italiana is a one-off game played between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia. 

Meanwhile, the Coppa Italia is a knockout tournament. This means that the winner of each tie will progress on to the next stage. The loser will automatically be eliminated from the competition!

In the Coppa Italia, each tie is played as a single match, except for the semi-finals which is a two-legged tie. 

Extra time and penalties 

If a game in the Supercoppa ends in a draw after 90 minutes, the game goes to extra time and then penalties. 

You can find out more about how a penalty shootout works here.

For the Coppa Italia, 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 Coppa Italia does not have replays

The semi-finals of the Coppa Italia use the away goals rule over the two legs.

Host Stadiums 

The Supercoppa Italiana is played at neutral venues in Italy. 

For example, the 2021 Supercoppa was played at the San Siro.

The home team for Coppa Italia games is decided by a draw before the tournament begins. The final is played at a neutral venue, usually at one of the best stadiums in the country. 

Number of matches 

The Supercoppa is a one-off game. While you only need to play one game to win it, a lot of work must be done in the previous season to win the Serie A or Coppa Italia to qualify for the competition. 

There are a total of 7 rounds in Coppa Italia. Serie B teams and the 12th lowest-ranked teams in Serie A join in the first round. The remaining 8 Serie A teams join at the Round of 16 stages. 

Consequently, Serie B and lower-ranked Serie A teams will need to play 8 games to win the competition. Meanwhile, the top 8 Serie A teams will need to play 5 games

The Semi-final of the Coppa Italia is a double-legged tie.

You may be wondering why teams from the Serie C division don’t take part in the Coppa Italia. This is because they have their own competition called Coppa Italia Serie C.

Eligible teams 

To be eligible to compete in the Supercoppa Italia, your team needs to either win the Serie A title or the Coppa Italia trophy.

If the same team wins both Serie A and Coppa Italia, the Coppa Italia runners-up will compete for the Coppa Italia trophy.

When this happens, it will essentially be a rematch of the previous season’s Coppa Italia final! 

For the Coppa Italia, every team in Serie A is eligible, as well as Serie B teams.

Frequency and duration 

Both competitions are held annually. 

The Supercoppa is played in January of every year as a single-match final. 

This is in contrast to other Super Cups like the UEFA Super Cup and the FA Community Shield. These cups are considered to be the curtain raisers of the season and will be played in August.

Meanwhile, the Coppa Italia on the other hand begins in August and ends in May. However, you may only notice the Coppa Italia in January because this is when the top Serie A teams join the competition. 

If one of the Serie B teams from earlier rounds remains in the competition, they may have a chance to face a Serie A side and cause an upset. 

Squad Size 

The squad rules for both the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa are similar. 

The matchday squad for Supercoppa games allows a maximum of 23 players in the squad which includes 11 starters and a maximum of 12 substitutes. 

Likewise, the Coppa Italia squad requires a maximum of 23 players with 11 starters and 12 subs on the bench. 

Prizes for winning the competition 

The winners of the Supercoppa Italiana will be crowned the champions, and they will receive prize money of €1.3M

For the Coppa Italia, the champions qualify for the UEFA Europa League tournament in the following season. They also qualify for the next season’s Supercoppa Italiana. They receive prize money of €1.8M for winning the final. However, the cumulative cash prize for winning every round of the tournament is over €3M

You can find out more about how the Europa League differs from the Champions League here.

Verdict 

Here is the summary of the comparison between the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia: 

Supercoppa ItalianaCoppa Italia
Number of
teams involved
244
Competition format Elimination Elimination 
Frequency AnnualAnnual
Duration Single match August-May
Eligible teamsWinners of Serie A
and Coppa Italia
All Serie A and
Serie B teams
Number of matches 1Max of 8
Squad size 2323
Presence of replays NoNo
Prizes for winning Supercoppa trophy Europa League +
Supercoppa Italiana

Conclusion 

The Supercoppa and Coppa Italia are two prestigious tournaments in Italy. It’s fair to say that the Coppa Italia is more prestigious because it gives the team another route into the UEFA Europa League

However, based on recent years, the Supercoppa is also very significant as the games are hotly contested like every other final!

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