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Looking ahead to Real Madrid-Barça in Saudi Arabia

Update:

Jose Mourinho left two key things behind after his spell with Real Madrid. A majestic Croatian midfielder called Luka Modric, who is still playing with the side and his definition of the Spanish Super Cup when he stated that this was: "more of a pre-season affair and less of an official competition". The new version of the Super Cup has now adopted a 'Final Four' format which features Copa del Rey winner and runner-up joining the LaLiga champions and runner-up in new January window. I do, however like this style of mini-tournament and the dates work better too. Having said that, I am fully aware that this Super Cup format has its detractors and much of this has to do with the games being played in Saudi Arabia, a nation rich in many areas but with plenty of work to do when it comes to the issues of human rights.

Luka Modric of Real Madrid warms up during the Spanish League, La Liga Santander, football match played between Real Madrid and Valencia CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on January 08, 2022, in Madrid, Spain.
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Luka Modric of Real Madrid warms up during the Spanish League, La Liga Santander, football match played between Real Madrid and Valencia CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on January 08, 2022, in Madrid, Spain.AFP7 vía Europa PressAFP7 vía Europa Press

Saudi Arabia-Spain relationship

Spain has many established links with Saudi Arabia and we recently supplied the Gulf nation with a series of high-speed AVE trains so it's only natural that the Spanish FA sees nothing but advantages in the deal signed to bring the with the country. Apart from the financial bonanza, Spain and Portugal are bidding to host the 2030 World Cup and having strategic allies around the planet is nothing bit a good thing. That's simply how these things work. I feel that Raúl García was being a little idealistic in his comments over the staging of the competition in the Gulf. Without television money and sponsorship deals, Athletic would struggle to pay him his handsome wage. It also should be remembered that money from the Super Cup also filters down to lower league clubs and women's football.

El Clásico

Today we look forward to a Madrid-Barça Clásico, and tomorrow Athletic face Atletico Madrid. Today's game is an interesting one as a solid Real Madrid face a FC Barcelona side, who are trying to rebuild an identity under Xavi who has been hit with squad issues, injuries and covid problems. This week saw good news in the shape of Ferran Torres signing up and all the Christmas covid absentees are back in action. In no time he'll also be able to count on Pedri and Ansu Fati and will set his sights on securing silverware in his first season on the Camp Nou bench. That objective starts tonight in the first semi-final at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.