Sevilla threaten to pull out of Super Cup against Barcelona

Rex Christensen
August 12, 2018

The Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla is a game of particular significance for Leo Messi: if the new Barcelona captain finds himself on the winning side in Tangiers he will become the most successful player in Camp Nou history by lifting a 33 career trophy with the club.

Managers are allowed to name a maximum of three non-EU players in each La Liga matchday squad and Sevilla were of the opinion that the same rule applied for all competitions in Spain.

It had been thought the Spanish Super Cup was the same but Sevilla said they would object to "an improper line-up".

On Saturday, the Spanish football federation clarified that, unlike in La Liga, there were no restrictions on non-EU players for the Spanish Super Cup because the game was considered "not professional".

The victor of the match that will be staged in Tangier, Morocco, will be decided over one leg for the first time.

In a statement released on Twitter, Sevilla made clear their objections to the decision: "Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF's statement 24 hours before the Super Cup".

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Messi, who will don the captain's armband for the first time after the departure of Andrés Iniesta to Vissel Kobe during the summer, will also overtake the midfield maestro as the player with the most titles for Barcelona.

Barca, therefore, could easily field only three non-EU players rather than risking the match.

Barcelona have taken four non-EU players to Morocco, Chilean Arturo Vidal and the Brazilian trio of Malcom, Marlon and Arthur. In their last notice for the 18-19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception.

Philippe Coutinho has reportedly acquired a Portuguese passport through his wife in the last week, while his fellow South Americans Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are already European Union citizens.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde was not happy with the rule change either. "With all the trouble we have had this week with non-EU squad members, they could have warned us before".

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