Chelsea and Villarreal have an appointment in Belfast this Wednesday evening (9 p.m.) to compete in the European Supercup, a few months after their respective successes in the Champions League and Europa League. A poster as original as it is promising to launch this new European football season. And above all to know who will reign supreme on the continent for the coming months.

11/08/2021 at 9 p.m.

Supercoupe

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On May 27, Villarreal offered the craziest European coronation against Manchester United. A Europa League final won after 22 shots on goal, in a totally unbearable suspense before a deliverance at the height of the event. Namely the first European title of the yellow submarine (which nevertheless counts two Intertoto cups in 2003 and 2004). Imitated a few days later by Chelsea in the Champions League final, Unai Emery’s team is therefore preparing to challenge the Blues this wednesday for the 46e edition of the European Supercup, at Windsor Park in Belfast. A confrontation that promises a lot to start the European season, far from the turmoil caused by the landing of Lionel Messi in Paris.

To dream bigger

This final brings together two teams who find themselves looking to new heights, as often when it comes time to start the new year and all dreams are possible. On the one hand, Chelsea and their unexpected coronation against Manchester City, which should not go unheeded. Thomas Tuchel knows it, while waiting for the reinforcement of weight from Romelu Lukaku, the German coach has at his disposal an impressive workforce which must now fight with the best in the Premier League. “The journey has only just begun and we hope it will be long. We must have the courage to take up this challenge. Does anyone have a recipe for doing even better after winning the Champions League? Personally, I don’t have it, reacted the technician Tuesday at a press conference. There are some things in our game that need to be developed, others that were already performing very well in the second half of the season and that we need to keep at the same level. We must also regain the state of mind that enabled us to achieve these results. ”

On the other side, Villarreal, seventh in Liga last year, fully intends to build on his continental triumph to take a step forward and bite into this qualification for the Champions League that was fleeing them. since the 2011-2012 season (they had been eliminated in dams by Monaco five years ago, Editor’s note). For this, the Spanish club has strengthened during the summer with several arrivals, such as the former Reims Boulaye Dia and Aïssa Mandi. “When Villarreal calls you, there’s nothing to think about. I know the club, I know what it represents. It is a regular club at the highest level. I was looking for this consistency, playing Europe every season ” , launched the Algerian international on the day of his signature. Proof of the growing attractiveness of a club determined to play its role of spoiler.

Tuchel and Emery in the arena

The two teams, who have never faced each other in official competition, see this as an opportunity to fill their trophy cabinet. Chelsea have won only once this European Supercup created at the dawn of the 1970s. It was in 1998, already at the expense of a Spanish club: Real Madrid. For Villarreal, this will logically be a first. It is therefore at the end of an unprecedented shock between two coaches who passed through Paris Saint-Germain, that the successor of Bayern Munich, who lost Sevilla in September 2020, will be known.

However, many uncertainties remain on both sides. There will be many absent, starting with the internationals concerned by the Euro or the Copa America at the beginning of the summer. Thomas Tuchel made it clear that Thiago Silva, Jorginho or Mason Mount would be in the group, but did not have 90 minutes in the legs and would therefore not be sent to the entry coal. “This club is made to win titles, that’s what we’re here for. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to lift a first trophy and we will do everything to win our first match of the year ” , assured Mateo Kovačić to journalists on Tuesday. That’s without counting on Villarreal, who would see themselves adding Chelsea to their hunting roster after hanging Arsenal and United heads on their wall last spring, and an Unai Emery, who certainly can’t imagine losing for the fifth. once a Supercup final (after 2008, 2014 and 2016).

By Tom Binet

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