Why are Real Madrid playing in the 2022 Spanish Super Cup?

The Spanish Super Cup returns to Saudi Arabia with the competition set to be the third featuring the new 'Final Four' format.

Why are Real Madrid playing in the 2022 Spanish Super Cup?

Traditionally the format for the Spanish Super Cup was straight forward with the winner of LaLiga meeting the winner of the Copa del Rey with games played on a home and away basis.

In 2019, new Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales announced a new style format with four teams set to battle out in a 'Final Four' style mini-tournament for the title with the federation securing a lucrative financial deal to stage the competition in Saudi Arabia.

Real Madrid were the first side to secure the title with the new format in Jeddah beating city rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties after the final ended 0-0. Due to the problems provoked by covid-19, last year's competition was staged in Andalusia with Athletic Club beating Barcelona in Seville after extra time (3-2).

Super Cup participants

The four sides who participate in the competition are the LaLiga winners and runners-up from the previous season which sees Diego Simeone's Atleti and Real Madrid heading to Riyadh with this season's competition set to be staged at the King Fahd International Stadium. The Madrid giants will be joined by 2021 Copa del Rey winners and runners-up respectively with Barcelona and Athletic making the trip to the Gulf.

Ancelotti's men face the Catalan giants in the first semi-final on Wednesday 12 January with Atleti and Athletiic Club going head-to-head the following night. The final will be staged on Sunday, 16 January.

Real Madrid will be looking for a chance to add to their 11 Super Cup hauls to date.