If Liverpool make it four, they’ll be in very good company.
Liverpool still might have a ways to go to catch Real Madrid in the number European Cups (a task no doubt made harder by last year’s injury-filled final), but a win tonight would equal the Spanish Giants in the number of UEFA Super Cups, with four.
This might seem odd at first, but Real Madrid won six of their thirteen European Cups before the establishment of the UEFA Super Cup in 1972. The competitions was originally held between the European Cup winners and the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup winners (that was fun to write) until UEFA nixed the latter competition in 1999. Since then, it has become a showdown between the Champions League and Europa League (or UEFA Cup) winners.
As things currently stand, Barcelona and AC Milan are tied atop the all-time rankings with five Super Cups a piece, with Real Madrid right behind with four. So, if Liverpool emerge victorious tonight, they will be tied for third all time.
At the moment, the Reds are tied with Atletico Madrid on three, ahead of Ajax, Anderlecht, Valencia, and Juventus, all with two Super Cups to their names.
On paper, Liverpool enter tonight’s contest with Chelsea as favorites. However, we have seen over the years that the European Champions do not always come out on top over the Europa League holders. In fact, the team we’re chasing for four, Real Madrid, lost this contest last year. And Liverpool won the 2001 rendition as UEFA Cup Champs, defeating European Champions Bayern Munich.
It’s still weird to say as a Liverpool fan, but hopefully the favorites prevail tonight.