2022-23 Supercopa de Espana returns to Saudi Arabia again with Laliga winners Real Madrid, runners Barcelona, Copa del Rey winners Real Betis and runners Valencia battling it out for the title. The Spanish super cup switched to a four team competition from 2019-20 which will feature Laliga champions and second placed team along with Copa del Rey finalists. The RFEF has hosted previous 2 out of last 3 Super cup competition in Saudi Arabia.
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Supercopa de Espana in Saudi Arabia
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) signed a deal worth $120m to have Saudi Arabia as host till 2029. While the tournament will serve as a good ambassador to promote Spanish football in Asia, it attracted more criticism. Laliga president Tebas criticised hosting Super Cup in Saudi way back in 2019. Athletic Club player Raul Garcia also voiced against this saying the Spanish fans have been forgotten. The criticism is mainly due to systematic abuse of homosexuals and discrimination against women. There were also criticism for pirating Spanish football by Saudi government backed television.
Semi-final fixtures of the Spanish Super Cup
The Spanish Super Cup begins on 11th January 2023 with the semi-final clash between Real Madrid and Valencia. Barcelona takes on Real Betis on 12th January 2023. The winners of the two semi-finals will face off each other in finals on 15th January 2023. All the fixtures will be played at King Fahd International stadium, Riyadh.
Defending champions Real Madrid will miss out the services of David Alaba and Aurelien Tchouameni. Dani Carvajal is fit and back in contention for his spot. Ancelotti has called up Castilla midfielder Mario Martin for the Super Cup. Gattuso’s Valencia enter the fixture as underdogs placed at 11th in the league table. Los Che haven’t beaten Madrid since early 2019.
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On the other hand Barcelona will be boosted with Lewandowski’s inclusion to the squad. The Blaugranas have a fully fit squad and they are coming into the tournament with a hard fought victory against Atletico at Wanda Metropolitano. Xavi’s men have been struggling to find a rhythm since their return to action post world cup. Real Betis are also entering the fixture with a win in the league that keeps them at 4th spot. Barcelona will face a stern test in the form of Real Betis.
Schedule, Timing and Prize money
1st semi-final : Real Madrid v Valencia, 11.01.2023/19:00 hrs GMT (12.01.2023/00:30 hrs IST)
2nd semi-final : Real Betis v Barcelona, 12.01.2023/19:00 hrs GMT (13.01.2023/00:30 hrs IST)
Finals : semi-final 1 winner v semi-final 2 winner, 15.01.2023/TBD
Real Madrid and Barcelona receive €2.8 million each, Valencia receive €1.7 million and Real Betis receive €750,000 for taking part in the tournament. The winner of the event gets €2 million and runners receive €1 million as prize money.