The two European powerhouses of football, Real Madrid, and Manchester United are going to meet once again, just 4 weeks after the friendly match in the United States. However, this encounter will have more significance because it will decide who is going to win the trophy of the European Super Cup.
At the moment Real Madrid is the defender, and after 17 years they have a chance to repeat what AC Milan did and claim this piece of ‘silverware’ for two years in a row. On the other hand, Manchester United wants to regain the title for the first time after 1991, when they defeated Red Star Belgrade with a minimal result.
The venue of this match is the Philip II Arena in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s manager, is confident, and he stated that everything depends exclusively on his team.
“I think the team is feeling well. We’re eager to start the season. This is the first official match and we’re hoping to start as soon as possible. We’ve been working and resting very well. Now is when everything starts. We are going to prepare the same way, our way, as always. We know a lot about our rivals. What concerns us is what we are going to do,” he said.
After a long time, Cristiano Ronaldo will take his place in the starting lineup after he missed the American tour because the French manager gave him additional time for rest. Ronaldo participated at the Confederations Cup in Russia with his national team of Portugal.
“He’s relaxed and what impresses me the most is that he’s as fit as on the day of the final two months ago. What interests me, in the long run, is that he’s fit. As to the rest, there’s not much we can do about it. The fact he’s with us means a lot. If he’s with us it’s because he’s ready to play,” Zidane said.
Jose Mourinho was also speaking about Ronaldo and his influence on the pitch. The Portuguese manager had three fantastic seasons with Ronaldo while he was in charge at Real Madrid. “We found a tactical set-up where he got the best out of himself and scored a lot of goals,” Mourinho said.
Mourinho also told journalists about the current situation regarding injuries and possible line-up for this match. It seems that the latest signing, the Serbian midfielder, Nemanja Matić, is not going to start this game. According to the Red Devils boss, Matić is physically not ready to play. Tim Fosu-Mensah will go on a loan and he didn’t travel to Macedonia. Also, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are suspended, while Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, and Marcos Rojo are injured.
“With Phil Jones, I was expecting the appeal [against the ban] to be negative,” said Mourinho. “No Phil Jones, no Eric Bailly and no Tim Fosu-Mensah because, at this moment, Tim is probably going on loan to another club. So we made the decision not to travel with him. The injuries are the long-term [ones] that you all know about – Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo. Apart from that, everybody is available. Obviously, Matic is available but not available like the others.”
According to the bookmakers, the reigning European champions are the favorites in this match. The most recent encounter ended with a draw 1-1, but after the penalty shootout, Red Devils were victorious. It will be the first official match of the season for both clubs, and fierce and hard fight can be expected.