UEFA Super Cup Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide To The UEFA Super Cup

Before the start of the European football season, you may notice that there is a separate competition that is played: the UEFA Super Cup.

This is before the Champions League season starts, so you may be wondering: what exactly is this competition?

Here’s what you need to know:

What is the UEFA Super Cup?

The UEFA Super Cup was founded in 1972, and is contested between the 2 teams who were the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League winners from the previous season.

The UEFA Super Cup is a single match final that is played by these two teams. This is somewhat similar to other Super Cups that are hosted by other European countries, including:

CountrySuper Cup
Equivalent
EnglandFA Community Shield
GermanyDFL-Supercup
ItalySuppercoppa Italiana
SpainSupercopa de España
FranceTrophée des Champions

All of the top 5 leagues in Europe has a domestic version of the UEFA Super Cup. These Super Cups are usually played between the domestic league winners and the domestic cup winners.

What happens if you win the UEFA Super Cup?

When a team wins the Super Cup, they will be awarded with the UEFA Super Cup trophy, as well as a fixed amount of prize money at €5,000,000.

The prize money that the winners and the runners-up are fixed for the UEFA Super Cup:

Winner€5,000,000
Runner-up€3,800,000

Apart from the extra prize money that your club receives, they will be lifting the UEFA Super Cup trophy as well.

What is the difference between the UEFA Super Cup and the Champions League?

The UEFA Super Cup is a single match that is played between the Champions League and Europa League winners from the previous season. Meanwhile, the Champions League is held throughout the football season and consists of the top 32 teams in Europe.

The Super Cup and Champions League are both hosted by UEFA. However, they are 2 separate competitions, both with their own set of criteria.

The main differences between these 2 competitions lie in:

  1. The number of matches played
  2. The number of teams involved
  3. The format of the competition
  4. The duration of the competition

The Champions League was started much earlier in 1955. Meanwhile, the UEFA Super Cup was only started in 1971.

The Super Cup was born when reporter Anton Witkamp came up with the idea to decide the best team in Europe.

Is the UEFA Super Cup better than the Champions League?

The UEFA Super Cup may be considered more prestigious, since the Champions League and Europa League winners are considered as the top teams in Europe. However, the Champions League has a higher standard of football compared to the Europa League, so it may be considered to be much more competitive.

This argument really depends on how you view both the Champions League and the Europa League.

One one hand, you may say that both the Europa League and Champions League winners are the 2 best teams in Europe. As such, this matchup may be considered to be more exciting than the Champions League final.

However, you may view the Europa League as being the ‘second’ tier in European football, while the Champions League is the top tier.

This is somewhat similar to how the EFL Championship is the second tier, while the Premier League is the first tier in English football.

In this case, you may think that the Champions League final is actually a better matchup, since these represents the actual top 2 clubs in Europe.

Here are some of the previous Champions League finalists and Europa League winners:

SeasonChampions League
Winner
Champions League
Runners-up
Europa League
Winners
2020/21ChelseaMan CityVillarreal 
2019/20Bayern MunichPSGSevilla
2018/19LiverpoolTottenhamChelsea
2017/18Real MadridLiverpoolAtletico Madrid

This can be a really tough one to call, especially since the Europa League winners are all strong teams as well!

As such, it really depends on how you view the Champions League final compared to the UEFA Super Cup.

Does the UEFA Super Cup have extra time?

If the teams are still tied at the end of regular time (90 minutes), the teams will play two more rounds of extra time, each being 15 minutes long.

For the FA Community Shield, if the teams are still level after 90 minutes, they will go straight to penalties immediately.

In contrast, the UEFA Super Cup does not go straight to penalties after the teams are still tied. They will play 2 halves of 15 minutes in extra time first. If the teams are still level after extra time, only then will the UEFA Super Cup go to penalties.

Here was the previous penalty shootout between Chelsea and Villarreal in the 2021 UEFA Super Cup.

Can the UEFA Super Cup end in a tie?

The UEFA Super Cup cannot end in a tie. A winner needs to be decided for the competition, and the teams will go into a penalty shootout to decide the winner if the teams are still level after both regular and extra time.

Is the UEFA Super Cup a major trophy?

The UEFA Super Cup is considered as one of the major trophies that a club has won, as most of the winners (e.g. Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern) include it in their trophy cabinet. However, compared to other trophies like the Champions League, it may be considered to be less prestigious.

I looked through the trophy cabinet on the websites of the previous Super Cup winners. Most of them included the UEFA Super Cup in their trophy list:

ClubUEFA Super
Cup Included?
BarcelonaYes
Real MadridYes
LiverpoolYes
Bayern MunichYes
ChelseaYes
Manchester UnitedYes
ValenciaYes

As such, it is safe to say that most clubs regard the Super Cup as a major trophy.

However, when you look at the position of the Super Cup compared to other trophies, it is much further down. Most teams would usually list their domestic league and Champions League victories first!

Meanwhile, the Super Cup will usually be placed much lower.

When you compare the Super Cup to these other trophies, it may be seen as less ‘prestigious’.

Does the Super Cup mean anything?

The UEFA Super Cup is meant to be the curtain raiser for the entire European football season. However, it is held early in the season, where most teams are not fully match fit yet. This may result in the Super Cup being considered as a pre-season friendly, compared to an actual final.

The Super Cup may not be as prestigious compared to other competitions during the football season. This could be because the cup is just one ‘final’ match that is played between the 2 teams.

Meanwhile, the domestic leagues and the Champions League have many more matches. The teams would have to go through an entire season before they can win these trophies.

It may mean that the Champions League is more valuable to the team due to it being much harder to win!

Conclusion

The UEFA Super Cup is just one of the many football trophies that are up for grabs in the football season. However, it may seem like a ‘glorified’ final for some fans.

Most people would have differing opinions about the value of the Super Cup. Some may believe that it declares the best team in Europe.

Meanwhile, other people may view the Super Cup as just another friendly!

In the end, it is still one of the many silverware that a football team can win. As such, most teams will still do their best to win this trophy!

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