The 38th edition of the Supercopa de Espana, otherwise known as the Spanish Super Cup, will take place in mid-January with four La Liga giants set to battle it out for silverware.
As is custom, the competition will feature the previous season’s Copa del Rey finalists along with the sides that finished first and second in the Spanish top flight.
This year that means Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will all be vying for silverware in Saudi Arabia.
Athletic are the reigning Super Cup champions after defeating Barcelona 3-2 in last year’s final. The Catalans are the most successful team in the competition having lifted the title a record 13 times.
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ESPN is the exclusive rights-holders of Spanish soccer in the United States, which extends to the Supercopa de España. They have elected to put the events on ESPN+, which is the broadcast company’s premium streaming service available to subscribers only.
Why is the Spanish Super Cup being played in Saudi Arabia?
The Spanish Super Cup expanded from two to four teams in 2019 as part of a 10-year deal that controversially saw Saudi Arabia also secure hosting rights. Reports claim the deal will be worth up to €320 million for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) across the next decade.
While the 2020 edition did take place in Saudi Arabia, the Spanish Super Cup was played in Spain last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite ongoing issues with the virus, the tournament will be held in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh in 2022.
The decision to relocate the competition has been criticised by many but the RFEF have previously defended the move.
“Until now it has been a competition which has been staged in the summer in Spain without interest from the media or from the public. It was unnoticeable for almost everyone,” a spokesperson for the RFEF said in 2020 .
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