Old hands face new experience

FC Internazionale Milano and Club Atlético de Madrid are no strangers to big European occasions but have never met in a competitive fixture and will only now make their UEFA Super Cup bows.

Rafael Benítez and Quique Sánchez Flores pictured at Anfield
©Getty Images

FC Internazionale Milano and Club Atlético de Madrid are no strangers to big European occasions but both will make their UEFA Super Cup debuts on 27 August.

Indeed, not only are UEFA Champions League winners Inter and UEFA Europa League victors Atlético making their bow in this competition, but the pair have never before met in an official fixture – some feat considering they boast more than 500 European games between them.

Both will be aiming to emulate city rivals in winning the UEFA Super Cup; Real Madrid CF were victorious in 2002 while AC Milan have lifted the trophy a record five times, including defeats of two Liga sides; FC Barcelona in 1989 and Sevilla FC in 2007.

The two coaches were both previously in charge at Valencia CF. Indeed, Rafael Benítez would have led them against FC Porto in the 2004 UEFA Super Cup had he not departed for Liverpool FC, with whom he won the UEFA Super Cup the following year, 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva.

If Inter win, Benítez would emulate Raymond Goethals, Arrigo Sacchi, Louis van Gaal, Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti in winning the UEFA Super Cup twice as a coach.

Like his Atlético side, Quique Sánchez Flores is making his debut in the UEFA Super Cup, and this is the first time there have been two Spanish coaches in the fixture, though in 1993 a pair of Italians met when Nevio Scala's Parma FC faced Fabio Capello's Milan.

One factor is on Quique Flores' side: since 2003, the previous season's UEFA Champions League winners have been victorious in odd-numbered years, alternating season by season with victors in the old UEFA Cup.

Overall since the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was abolished in 1999, the ten UEFA Super Cup editions have had five victories each for the holders of the two remaining major European club competitions.