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SUN, 8:30AM ET

7 Reasons to Watch the Spanish Super Cup Between Barcelona and Real Madrid

barcelona real madrid crests 7 Reasons to Watch the Spanish Super Cup Between Barcelona and Real Madrid

Watch Barcelona v Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup live on ESPN Deportes (4pm ET, August 17).

For fans of Premier League clubs or the league itself, you might presume that today will be an unusually quiet day based on what matches are available to watch. That’s because after watching the entertaining and tightly-fought match between Arsenal and Udinese on Tuesday, and then looking ahead to Thursday’s Europa League games featuring Tottenham, Fulham and Stoke City battling it out against European opposition, today (Wednesday) looks a little stark. Except that there is one quality match being played today that’s worth watching, and it’s a classic: Real Madrid against Barcelona in the second leg of the 2011 Spanish Super Cup.

If you missed the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup — Spain’s equivalent of the Community Shield with the winner of La Liga playing the winner of Copa del Rey — you will have missed an exciting game that featured an absolutely incredible goal by David Villa. It was so good it looked like something you’d see on a video game. It looked too good to be true.

The entertaining game between Real Madrid and Barcelona ended 2-2, which sets up tonight’s second leg very nicely. A win for either team and the cup is theirs. If either team scores an early goal, this final will be set to erupt as both teams will be forced out of their shell and will put everything on the line to win the prestigious trophy.

Typically we don’t cover other leagues here on EPL Talk, but here are four reasons why I think you should watch the Spanish Super Cup tonight, which — for viewers in the United States — will air live beginning at 4pm ET on ESPN Deportes, and GolTV:

  1. Jose Mourinho.
  2. Barcelona. After winning the Champions League and La Liga, can the Blaugrana win another trophy so soon after lifting the other ones? It’s no wonder that this Barcelona side is considered as one of the greatest soccer teams ever.
  3. The alternative. If you don’t enjoy Barcelona’s so-perfect-it’s-boring-at-times tiki-taka passing, the one team that can prevent them from playing that is Real Madrid. Depending on what tactics they employ, Real Madrid could stop Barcelona from playing by either being extremely physical and defensive. Or, by playing them off the park. With Real Madrid, it’s hard to predict which one will turn up.
  4. Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo. There’s definitely a lot of competition between Messi and Ronaldo regarding who is the best player in the world. Much of that is fueled by the fans, but while Messi is undoubtedly the best in the world now especially after the 2011 Champions League Final, I wouldn’t count Cristiano Ronaldo out by any means. If there ever was a time for Ronaldo to steal the crown from Messi on the world’s stage, tonight is it.
  5. Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. The Arsenal midfielder joined Barcelona on Monday and there’s a huge amount of anticipation whether or not Fabregas will play in the final or not. Even if he doesn’t, keep an eye out for Barcelona’s other major signing — Alexis Sanchez — who had a tremendous game in the first leg with his bursts down the wing, and should be as effective tonight, too.
  6. Former Premier League footballers. I always enjoy watching former Premier League players move on to clubs on the continent to see how they adapt to the different leagues. Just a few of the players who you may see grace the pitch tonight are Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho and Gerard Pique.
  7. Quality of football. Last but not least, perhaps the best reason is the sheer quality and ability of these players to do the unexpected. While La Liga is not everyone’s game, there are sheer moments of brilliance whenever these two teams meet. The intensity of the game – both on and off the pitch – is immense. And there are often some silky skills that come out of nowhere that leave you gasping for breath.

For more coverage of this game and La Liga in general, visit our sister site La Liga Talk where we have one reporter who is on-site in Barcelona recounting her experiences in that city in the build-up to tonight’s game.

Watch Barcelona v Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup live on ESPN Deportes (4pm ET, August 17).

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