EURO 2000
  - WORLD CUP 2002

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Thursday, August 29, 2002
Real and Feyenoord looking for Super start
By Mike Collett

MONACO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The European Super Cup will have a new name inscribed on it after Friday's final when European champions Real Madrid and UEFA Cup winners Feyernoord both attempt to win it for the first time.

Vicente Del Bosque
Del Bosque: Wants first win
The final could also enter the record books as the first match to be decided after 105 minutes of playing time -- which would comprise just one 15-minute period of extra time according to new 'golden goal' rules introduced for the first time this season.

UEFA, unhappy with the sudden-death aspect of the old rule in which the match ended as soon as a goal was scored in extra time have brought in a new rule which states that if a 'golden goal' is scored during the first half of extra-time, the game will continue until half-time of extra time with the team which scored the 'golden goal' winning.

If, after 105 minutes, the scores are still level, a further 15 minutes will be played. In other words, extra-time will last either 15 or 30 minutes and the side which concedes a 'golden goal' will, at least, be given a sporting chance of fighting back.

The last time Real Madrid played in the Super Cup final they lost 2-1 to Galatasaray and a Mario Jardel winner in 2000. They have returned to Monaco to try and win the cup at the third attempt. Feyenoord are playing in their first final.

Real's first appearance in 1998 ended in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea after Uruguayan striker Gustavo Poyet came on as a second-half substitute to score the winner, and two years ago they surprisingly lost to Galatasaray.

Although the match is just the curtain-raiser to the new European season, Real are determined to win it.

'It is the first real test of the season and it is also our bogey trophy,' says right back Michel Salgado.

'We are really determined to bring the cup back to Madrid this time.'

But Real coach Vicente del Bosque was characteristically cautious about about his team's chances of victory over the Dutch team who qualified for the first stage of the Champions League on Tuesday after a 3-0 aggregate win over Fenerbahce of Turkey.


'They are a classic team from the Dutch school and also have some very good foreign players. They knocked out some tough teams in last season's UEFA Cup and play very good football.'

Real's preparations for Friday's final may have been overshadowed by the saga surrounding the apparent collapse of the attempt to sign Ronaldo from Inter Milan, but the team's recent pre-season performances suggest they will have little problem hitting the target.

Del Bosque's side smashed five past Romanian champions Dinamo Bucharest on Saturday, with former youth team striker Javier Portillo grabbing the headlines after notching a well-taken double when he came on as a second-half substitute.

The 20-year-old, who has now been promoted to the senior squad, has scored close to 400 goals in official games for the club's youth teams and marked his European debut last season by striking a stunning 25-metre equaliser against Panathinaikos.

Portillo is clearly being groomed by the club as the future partner for Raul, but senior striker Fernando Morientes is likely to get the nod over the rising star in the starting line-up.

The Spanish international will be keen to prove a point to the management at Real after he was offered as part exchange in the proposed Ronaldo deal.

With Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo looking sharper in pre-season than this time last season, Real can look forward with optimism to claiming their first silverware of the season.

'We mustn't forget that we have the option of winning five trophies this season and we are setting out to try and win them all,' Zidane said.


But Feyenoord will be just as determined and coach Bert van Marwijk's side will be attempting to maintain the jinx that has seen every Champions League winner lose the Supercup since it was switched to a single match in Monaco five seasons ago.

Team spirit and hard work were the key elements of Feyenoord's success last season and they have proved their potential by reaching the Champions League now.

Feyenoord midfielder Paul Bosvelt believes his team will be inspired in Monaco.

'Real are probably the best team in Europe, but we showed last season what our possibilities are when we face stronger opponents.

'We will give our best in the Super Cup match. As a player it is always a challenge to play against a team with big names in it like Real, but I've done it before with Feyenoord when I took on Zinedine Zidane in the 1997 Champions League matches against Juventus.

'For us the Super Cup is a prize which we really want to win. And this match will be an opportunity to match up with an opponent of a higher level.'


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