Saturday, 20 December 2014

UEFA Super Cup

By Mark Smith | Prague Daily Monitor |
29 August 2013

Chelsea and Bayern Munich cross swords in Prague this weekend as the Czech capital has the illustrious honour of hosting the 2013 UEFA Super Cup. The UEFA showpiece, that sees last season’s Champions League and UEFA Cup winners meet in a one-off game, is usually held in Monaco but the Eden stadium in Prague has been selected for this year’s final.

The FAČR and Czech fan’s couldn’t have picked a better game as Petr Čech, who made his 200th clean sheet in a Chelsea shirt this week, will return to the city where it all began for him.

The Chelsea stopper played for Sparta Prague during the 2001-02 season and has since become one of the best, if not THE best, goalkeeper in world football. Čech’s list of honours is longer than your arm and consists of four FA Cups, three Premier League titles, a Champions League winners medal and eight times winner of the Czech golden ball.

His former International team-mate Tomáš Ujfaluši, now incidentally playing for Sparta Prague, is the official FACR ambassador and believes it will be a special match for the 31 year-old keeper “Petr Čech will come home, and for him it will be a fantastic occasion.” Ujfaluši told UEFA.com
“In 2010 we [Atlético] faced Inter Milan in the UEFA Super Cup. We were not fancied but still managed to win [2-0]. It is a great feeling to come into contact with the trophy again, especially in Prague.” Ujfaluši added.

Tickets for the UEFA Super Cup are priced between €50 - €130 and went on sale last month via a ballot system. However, the demand for tickets far outstripped the numbers available.

Walter Otton, a Chelsea season ticket holder for over 25 years and author of The Red Hand Gang, was lucky to get a ticket and will visiting Prague for the first time “I cannot wait for this trip! I've never been to Prague, however everyone I've spoken to say how beautiful and brilliant it is.” Walter told Prague.tv.
“I am hopeful for a Chelsea victory, of course - I'm looking forward to an exciting game on the pitch. Naturally, extra spice is added to this fixture with Mourinho and Guardiola meeting in battle again.” he added.

The match has several interesting subplots as Jose Mourinho reacquaints himself with Pep Guardiola, both coaches endured a fractious relationship in Spain when they went head-to-head in La Liga. As well as the Mourinho/Guardiola narrative, the game is a repeat of the 2012 UEFA Champions League final in Munich that Chelsea won on penalties.

Unfortunately there are no official fan parks for those who didn’t manage to get tickets; however, you can watch the match live at JJ Murphy’s bar located on Tržiště 4, Malostranka in Prague 1 or, for those that like a lively atmosphere, you can head to Rock ‘n’ Beer on Ve Smečkách 21, just off Wenceslas square. The game between Chelsea and Bayern Munich kicks off at 8:45 local time on Friday 30th August.