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Madrid win Spanish Super Cup

Real Madrid players celebrate winning the Spanish Super Cup final football match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid at the King Fahd International Stadium in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Photo: AFP

Real Madrid have won the Spanish Super Cup by beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 on Sunday as Luka Modric and a Karim Benzema penalty secured a comfortable victory in Saudi Arabia.

Modric’s curling finish towards the end of the first half and Benzema’s strike early in the second sealed the win for Madrid, who claimed their first trophy in Carlo Ancelotti’s second spell as coach.

Athletic had beaten La Liga champions Atletico Madrid to reach the final but were well beaten at the King Fahd Stadium by a slick, organised Real Madrid side, that have now lost only once in 20 matches.

They had brief hope in the 87th minute when they were awarded a penalty and Eder Militao was sent off, but Raul Garcia missed and Madrid’s win was safe.

Ancelotti’s side faces Elche on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and Paris Saint-Germain next month in the last 16 of the Champions League.

In La Liga, they are five points clear at the top of the table.

The 33-year-old Marcelo, meanwhile, came on for the last few minutes, before lifting his 23rd trophy at Real Madrid, equalling the haul of Paco Gento as the most successful player in the club’s history.

“He’s one of the greats, a legend of this club,” said Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Ancelotti now has five trophies as Real Madrid coach, adding a Spanish Super Cup to the Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup he won during his first spell.

The Spanish Super Cup stayed in Spain in 2021 because of the pandemic but has returned to Saudi Arabia as part of an agreement until 2029 that will earn the Spanish football federation around 30 million euros a year.