West News Wire: With a 3-1 victory over Real Madrid, Barcelona has captured the Spanish Super Cup for the first time since the competition was redesigned and relocated to Saudi Arabia.
In a lucrative contract for the Spanish football federation, Robert Lewandowski, Gavi, and Pedri each scored one goal on Sunday at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to give Barcelona its first Super Cup championship since 2018 and the first since the competition’s Final-Four format began in 2020.
Additionally, it was Barcelona’s first championship since Lionel Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 and since former player Xavi took over as head coach in 2021.
Gavi opened the scoring in the 33rd minute from close range after a pass by Lewandowski, who doubled the lead after an assist by Gavi in a breakaway just before the end of the first half.
Gavi also set up Pedri’s close-range goal in another breakaway in the 69th.
Karim Benzema scored a consolation for Madrid late in stoppage time.
This was Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first defeat in a final since 2014.
Barcelona have now won the Super Cup a record 14 times. Madrid have 12 to their name.
“We knew it was a chance we had to take, we have lived through an era of changes at the club and in the dressing room, and this will reinforce us to keep fighting for more titles,” said Barca captain Sergio Busquets.
“You know how [Gavi] competes, he’s very young. Most players at his age would be in the youth team, and he’s playing at an incredible level, giving assists, getting goals.”
Madrid eliminated Barcelona in last season’s semi-finals, but the Spanish powerhouses had never met in the final of the revamped competition.
The Super Cup used to be played between the Spanish league champion and the Copa del Rey winner. Now the runners-up in both competitions also participate.
Madrid played as the league champion and Barcelona as the league runner-up.
The current contract to play the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia runs through the 2024-25 season.