The tragic death of Antonio Puerta has left the European football family in mourning and his loss will be marked in a special UEFA tribute at the UEFA Super Cup.
The tragic death of Sevilla FC midfielder Antonio Puerta on Tuesday has left the European football family in mourning. The meeting of AC Milan and Sevilla for the UEFA Super Cup will feature a special UEFA tribute to a 22-year-old described by one of the many to have voiced their grief this week as a "magnificent player, an even better person".
• The 2007 UEFA Super Cup will be the first time the teams have met in UEFA competition.
• Milan have won the UEFA Super Cup a record four times, most recently as European champions in 2003, and are also the only club to complete back-to-back victories when winning in 1989 and 1990. They will be up against a Sevilla side aiming to emulate that achievement after brushing aside the might of FC Barcelona a year ago with a 3-0 victory.
• Milan enter the 32nd edition of the UEFA Super Cup, which has been an official UEFA club competition since 1973, as Europe's premier team after a 2-1 victory against Liverpool FC in the UEFA Champions League final in Athens on 23 May. Sevilla participate as UEFA Cup holders having triumphed 3-1 on penalties against RCD Espanyol after a 2-2 draw in Glasgow a week before.
• Milan's 1-0 defeat of FC Porto in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup, thanks to Andriy Shevchenko's early headed winner, was their first success since the competition moved to one-off finals at the Stade Louis II in 1998. It was the UEFA Champions League winners' only previous visit to the venue.
• The Milan lineup on 29 August 2003 was: Dida, Šimić, Maldini, Nesta, Pancaro, Rui Costa (Cafu 85), Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (Ambrosini 71), Shevchenko (Rivaldo 76), Inzaghi. Carlo Ancelotti was the coach.
• Sevilla have also played in the Principality on one previous occasion. Last year they arrived as UEFA Cup holders to take on the UEFA Champions League winners Barça. Sevilla became the third different Spanish team to win the trophy thanks to first-half goals from Renato and Frédéric Kanouté, together with a late penalty from substitute Enzo Maresca. It was the third time teams from the same country had contested the UEFA Super Cup.
• The Sevilla lineup on 25 August 2006 was: Palop, Daniel Alves, Javi Navarro, Escudé, Castedo, Adriano (Puerta 81), Poulsen, Renato, Navas (Maresca 75), Luis Fabiano (Martí 46), Kanouté.
• Milan's first UEFA Super Cup success also came at the expense of Spanish opposition. In 1989, Milan drew 1-1 at Barcelona, thanks to a Marco van Basten penalty, before clinching the trophy with a 1-0 home win secured by Alberigo Evani. Maldini played in both legs.
• In 1990, they again drew 1-1 away, this time at Italian rivals UC Sampdoria with Evani once more on target in a side boasting Maldini and Ancelotti. In the second leg Ancelotti again figured as Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard struck for a 2-0 home victory in the first final featuring teams from the same country.
• Those back-to-back wins for Milan in 1989 and 1990 mark the only time a club has successfully defended the UEFA Super Cup. Liverpool and Nottingham Forest FC both had the opportunity but after wins in 1977 and 1979 respectively, each lost the following year.
• Aside from their 1989, 1990 and 2003 successes, Milan also won the 1994 edition, actually played in February 1995, with a 2-0 aggregate victory against Arsenal FC. Both goals came in the second leg at San Siro from Zvonimir Boban and Daniele Massaro after a goalless draw at Highbury. Maldini featured in the first leg.
• Milan lost the first official UEFA Super Cup in January 1973, their only other appearance in the competition. After a 1-0 win at home against AFC Ajax, they went down 6-0 in Amsterdam. This remains the club's heaviest defeat in UEFA club competition.
• Aside from that UEFA Super Cup duel with Barcelona, Milan have twice met Spanish opposition in the final of the European Champion Clubs' Cup. In 1957/58, Milan lost 3-2 to Real Madrid CF in Brussels. More recently, the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League final in Athens saw the Rossoneri run out 4-0 winners against Barcelona.
• In total Milan have played 38 individual UEFA club competition games against Spanish opposition, winning 15, drawing seven and losing 16. They have not won in their last three fixtures, namely a 1-0 loss and a 0-0 draw in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Barcelona and a 2-1 group-stage defeat at Camp Nou in the previous campaign.
• Sevilla have only met Italian opposition once in UEFA club competition, a two-legged tie against Parma FC in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup Round of 16. A goalless draw at home was followed by 1-0 defeat in Italy.
• Although neither club has played against AS Monaco FC at the Stade Louis II, Milan did meet the Ligue 1 club in the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Uniquely for that season, the tie was decided by a one-off match at San Siro with Milan running out 3-0 winners.
• Italy are the most successful nation in the UEFA Super Cup, having won it on eight occasions. Spain are third with six triumphs, one behind England.
• Sevilla boast two Italian players who will know all about facing Milan. Former Juventus midfielder Enzo Maresca and 30-year-old goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis, a summer recruit from Udinese Calcio, both have plenty of Serie A experience.
• Milan have no Spanish players in their squad although Clarence Seedorf, Ronaldo and Emerson all previously represented Real Madrid.