As the new season looms, many starring roles will be repeated â Messi versus Ronaldo is still Messi versus Ronaldo â but there is time for more signings
Some film stylish promos, others play football matches. Rarely has that tired old cliche been more apt. Rarely has it been apt at all, in fact, but this time it kind of was. The timing was perfect, the promise tangible. One hundred and 20 minutes, nine goals, three astonishing, almost identical free-kicks in 14 minutes, mouths hanging open just a little further each time the ball flew into the net, and a winning goal so late it happened the day after the game began: the European Super Cup was a fantastic advert for Spanish football.
Perhaps it needed to be after two months away, with most teams touring abroad not at home, and with the opening day of a new season approaching quietly in a month where âclosedâ signs are common city sights. It felt a bit like Spanish football had begun to be left behind again â they were a fortnight and many millions behind England, La Liga clubs having spent a third as much as their Premier League competitors, for a start â but then Spanish football stepped on to the pitch. European Cup holders Barcelona and Europa League holders Sevilla came together in Tiblisi, where it finished 5-4, with a 115th-minute winner from Pedro.