By John Ryan
- Manchester United face Real Madrid in European Super Cup
A Club’s history can often fudge their present. Liverpool FC have eighteen titles and five European Cups but only one of those trophies in the last twenty seven seasons.
Real Madrid were similar, winning the first five European Cups, six of the first eleven and then spent thirty two years without a European Cup title.
In the last twenty seasons they have added six more European Cups, making them kings of the competition. Unlike Liverpool they were able to claim domestic titles in that time without the big one, but they have never been known for living in the past.
Ronaldo and Benzema are entering their ninth season with Real which is unusual for Real Madrid players. Real Madrid have had a glittering history, playing attractive football and buying the best players.
Zidane has them playing as a team where Ronaldo is used sparingly and the team is bigger than any individual. But off the field yet again their board is happy to pay extortionate sums for the latest big name which could see Gareth Bale join Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho has certainly added speculation to this proposed move.
Mourinho has managed to sign three of his four transfer targets. Lukaku moved for a huge fee also swelling the amount United have laid out on transfers since the last title win.
Lindelof brings defensive solidity but Nemanja Matic is the player who will land Mourinho the 2018 Premier League title.
Real Hold Edge Over Recent Encounters
Real knocked United out of the Champions League on their last three meetings. In 2000 a 0-0 draw in Spain looked to have been enough for Champions United to march towards another title.
Redondo, McManaman and Del Bosque had other ideas and blitzed the Reds in a three minute second half spell.
In 2003 at Old Trafford United were chasing a 3-1 first leg deficit but the Brazilian Ronaldo scored a hat trick and United limped out 6-5 on aggregate.
In 2013 Jose Mourinho led Real to another victory over United with Cristiano Ronaldo the difference between the sides but the then Real Manager insisted that United had been the better team. It was always his destiny to be in the Old Trafford hotseat.
Final Preparation Game Ahead Of Premier League Kick-Off
Whether United win this game is academic. West Ham at the weekend is a more important game. But Mourinho’s men can set a tone for the season.
On the pre-season USA tour the sides met and honours were even. But with a trophy to play for we can expect both sides to go at each other.
How Real handle Lukaku will be key in this game. How United play through him will be vital. Lukaku’s power and aggression will be a huge asset to United.
How Real use Gareth Bale will tell us where this Welsh wizard will play next season. If he starts then he is unlikely to leave the Spanish giants this summer. If he is unused then he will be odds on to become Mourinho’s final summer purchase.
Verdict: Real to shade it with Ronaldo being the difference, Gareth Bale to join Manchester United.