When Real Madrid take to the field for the European Super Cup clash on Tuesday night you will see the contrast between two clubs with projects that are at very different stages and where the titles won by one side far outweighs the other.
Dominated by players like Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo, with a long history at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid are a team that has scaled its highest peak after having won three of the last four Champions Leagues.
Real’s success in Europe has shown by the 29 Super Cups that they now have compared to just the one of Manchester United who are still at the construction stage of a new team under Jose Mourinho.
A historical club that reigned in England for many years under Sir Alex Ferguson, but that is still going through something of a barren period since his retirement.
Scarcely any player remains from that era.
Michael Carrick is the only survivor, following Rooney’s departure from that generation that he championed at Old Trafford.
That crop reached a European Super Cup after winning the Champions League in 2008, but neither Carrick nor Ronaldo, both injured, could play in that final in which United lost to Zenit.
Currently, under the orders of Mourinho, the Red Devils are looking to return to football’s Mount Olympus.
Pogba, Baily and Mkhitaryan are some of the names that have championed this new project.
The initial results were not what was expected, but Mourinho’s side did end up conquering the Europa League, a trophy that served to make us forget the poor finish obtained in the Premier League.
It was also a title that has opened the door to another final, the European Super Cup.
The white experience
On Tuesday, a new season begins with the European Super Cup in play. A competition that only two United players have been able to compete in throughout their careers. They are De Gea and Mata, precisely two Spaniards, and only the goalkeeper can boast of having won it; he did so with Atleti in 2010.
A group of rookies who will be measured against the worst possible rival in this final, the current European champion and in this competition with the experience of two European Super Cups in three years.
Toni Kroos is the only footballer to win a cup that he won with Bayern, with Mourinho as his rival.
This is one of the signs that shows the distance that currently exists between both clubs.