Cast your minds back to the Barcelona side of 2006.
Frank Rijkaard’s side were coming off a campaign in which they’d won La Liga, finishing 12 points clear of Real Madrid, picked up the Champions League in a pulsating final against Arsenal and won the Spanish Super Cup for good measure.
Barcelona boasted a flawless attack of Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi, balanced midfield of Deco, Andres Iniesta and Xavi and Lilian Thuram alongside Carles Puyol at the back.
The 2006 UEFA Super Cup presented a chance to kick off the new campaign with some more silverware, but in the way stood a Sevilla side who’d won the UEFA Cup by beating Middlesbrough 4-0 in the final.
Barcelona: Valdes; Belletti, Marquez, Puyol, Sylvinho; Xavi, Motta, Deco; Messi, Ronaldinho, Eto’o
Sevilla: Palop; Alves, Navarro, Escude, David; Navas, Poulsen, Renato, Adriano; Kanoute, Fabiano
It took seven minutes for Sevilla to perfectly illustrate how to bypass Barcelona’s aggressive pressing game.
Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen delayed the pass for long enough to draw in a tackle from two Barcelona players before launching the ball to Renato, who’d made a late run towards the box.
His quick pass perfectly dissected Puyol and Rafael Marquez, releasing Luis Fabiano through on Victor Valdes’ goal.
Valdes saved his initial shot but Renato, who’d carried on his run, was left free to roll the ball into an open net. Advantage Sevilla.
From Mali with love
With half-time seconds away, Renato whipped in a corner towards the six-yard box.
From the second the ball left his foot Valdes decided to come for it but, with collisions happening all around him, could only flap a punch towards the edge of the box.
Navas headed the ball back into the box where Kanoute was able to head into the goal past a stranded Valdes.
In doing so he became the first Malian international to score in a UEFA Super Cup final.
Bradford to Barcelona
Barcelona knocked on the door in search of a way back into the game but were surprisingly blunt going forward.
An attacking trio of Ludovic Giuly, Andres Iniesta and Eidur Gudjohnsen came off the bench for Sylvinho, Xavi and Motta, but it was Sevilla who struck again.
Antonio Puerta, who would pass away following a cardiac arrest just a year later, was brought down in the box by Puyol after a powerful run.
Substitute Enzo Maresca stepped up to hammer home from the spot and seal a 3-0 win for Sevilla.
Eight years earlier he’d been playing for West Brom in the second flight of English football against Bradford City.
Set up for success?
Sevilla’s UEFA Super Cup win proved to be a precursor to one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history.
Juande Ramos’ side added the UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey to their collection of silverware, and finished 3rd in La Liga.
By contrast Barcelona were relatively unsuccessful, finishing as runners up to Real Madrid in the league and only managing to win the Spanish Super Cup.
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