Why does Spanish Super Cup have four teams? Real Madrid and Atletico in final despite winning nothing – The Sun

REAL MADRID and city rivals Atletico will battle it out in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The competition, akin to England's Community Shield, normally sees the La Liga champions face the winners of Copa del Rey for the trophy.

But this time, the showpiece will be contested by two sides who failed to win a trophy last season.

This is because the tournament was held between four teams and the respective La Liga and Copa del Rey winners – Barcelona and Valencia – were both knocked out in the semi-final.

Why are their four teams in Spanish Super Cup?

Up until now, the Spanish Super Cup – or Supercopa de Espana in its native tongue – was contested between two teams.

Barcelona are the current reigning champions, having extended their record to win a 13th title by beating Sevilla in Morocco last season.

This was also the first time it had been a single-legged affair and based outside of Spain, with the two participants traditionally playing home and away fixtures.

But the new format has been seen as a money-making deal, with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) receiving 120million euros (£102m) over three years to host the competition at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The previous format would also have seen Barcelona face cup winners Valencia in the final, while the new format means Real Madrid's marketable Galacticos will still participate.

With the tournament being spread out over several days, and the searing heat of the Saudi summer, the Spanish Super Cup has also been moved to January – as opposed to its previous dates in August.

The move has been heavily criticised by La Liga president Javier Tebas and Spanish TV broadcasters RTVE for their decision to host the match in Saudi Arabia due to the conutry's human rights record, in particular surrounding women.

But RFEF president Luis Rubiales insists women would be able to attend the matches without restriction.

What teams are involved?

The teams selected are the top two in La Liga and the Copa del Rey finalists from the previous season.

In the case that one team can enter through both competitions, the remaining place goes to the next highest in the league.

The 2019-20 teams are:

  • Valencia (Copa del Rey winners)
  • Barcelona (La Liga champions and Copa del Rey runners-up)
  • Atletico Madrid (La Liga runners-up)
  • Real Madrid (La Liga third place)

The semi finals are decided in a draw with no restriction, with the winners facing each other in the final.

The 2019-20 fixtures are:

  • January 8: Valencia 1-3 Real Madrid
  • January 9: Barcelona 2-3 Atletico Madrid
  • January 12: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

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