The UEFA Super Cup is a single football match held between the reigning champions of UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League which are regaded as the two main European Club tournaments. It is hosted by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and played on annual basis. The UEFA Super Cup mainly starts in the mid of season that is, in mid-August. Since 1972 up to 1999, the competition was contested between the winners of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. After the demise of UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, it is now contested by the champions of UEFA Champions League and the champion club of the UEFA Cup which in 2009 was renamed as the UEFA Europa League.
UEFA Super Cup
The most recent UEFA Europa Cup was won by the Spanish Club, Barcelona against Sevilla with a final result of 5-4. However, Barcelona and Milan are two football clubs that have won the most UEFA Europa Cup, 5 times each.
The UEFA Super Cup comes to fore when a reporter of a dutch newspaper called Anton Witkamp has successfully attempt to create in 1971. This idea of creating UEFA Super Cup competition came to his mind when Dutch Total Football was regarded as Europe’s finest football competition and the Dutch football clubs were living in their golden era Ajax in particular. Witkamp wanted to feature a European competition that could determine the best football club of Europe and also to test the Legendary team Ajax in which Johan Cruyff was the star player. He then proposed that the winner football club of the European Cup will contest the winner of Cup Winners’ Cup.
More details on UEFA Super Cup
Witkamp also wanted UEFA to host the competition but his attempt of getting the official enforsement to his proposed competition was turned down by the President of UEFA. The Final match of the first UEFA Super Cup was held in 1972 between the Dutch and Scotland’s club known as Ajax and Rangers respectively. However the competition remained unofficial by UEFA because Rangers were banned by UEFA due to their hostile fans durinf the final of 1972 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. UEFA refused to host the competition until the next UEFA Super Cup. Therefore, the final was financially supported in two legs by a Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf. Ajax won the final by defeating Rangers on 6-3 aggregate and hence, they were the champions of the very first unofficial European Super Cup.
The 1973 final of the UEFA Super Cup was also battled between Ajax and Milan in which Ajax won the their second trophy by 6-1 on aggregate. However, this was the first Super Cup officially supported by UEFA itself. Until 1997, all the matches were two legged but onwards, UEFA decided to host all the matches in a single match format due to schedule and political problems that were experienced in 1984, 1986 and 1991.
The European Cup was later renamed as UEFA Champions Leagaue in 1992-93 season and the winner football club would have to face European Cup Winners’ Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. However, the European Cup Winners’ Cup was also renamed as UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994-95 season. As the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was demolished after the 1998-99 season, so the last team to participate in UEFA Super Cup from UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was Lazio that defeated the champions of UEFA Champions League, Manchester United by 1-0. Since then, winners of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup were suppose to contest with each other in the UEFA Super Cup. In 2009-10 season of the tournament, the UEFA Cup was also renamed as UEFA Europa League this time and the winners of UEFA Europa League will now face the winners of Champions League in so called UEFA Super Cup.