| Luis Figo holds up the SuperCup in Monaco on Friday. (Reuters)
Monaco, Aug. 31 (Reuters): European champions Real Madrid won the European Super Cup for the first time on Friday beating Uefa Cup holders Feyenoord 3-1 with a superb display of attacking football.
Goals from Brazilian Roberto Carlos and Spaniard Guti, after an own goal by luckless Patrick Paauwe had set Real on their way.
Pierre Van Hooijdonk replied in the second half with a sweetly-struck free-kick, but it was not enough to stop the European masters demonstrating their utter domination. Real, at times almost toying with the Dutch side, dominated the traditional curtain-raiser to the new European season, taking control of the game with two superbly-worked goals in the space of seven first half minutes. And it was no surprise when Real went ahead after 14 minutes.
Their opening goal followed a flowing move started by Zidane in the centre circle and ended with Patrick Paauwe turning a Roberto Carlos cross into his own net.
Seven minutes later Roberto Carlos made it 2-0 himself with an unstoppable curling shot after an exchange of passes with Cambiasso, who is tipped for a great future with the club.
Feyenoord, who qualified for this season’s Champions League earlier this week, briefly put Real under some pressure when Pierre van Hooijdonk struck a 56th minute free-kick to make it 2-1.
Real quickly re-established their two-goal lead when Guti, unmarked at the far post, headed home a Luis Figo cross on the hour and Raul and Figo went close to adding to the total.
Real have now won every European trophy on offer and also ended a curious sequence in which the European champions had lost in this match on the four previous occasions that it has been played as a single-game curtain raiser in Monaco.
Real lost to Chelsea in 1998 and Galatasaray two years ago — but from the time their first goal went in there was no doubt they were going to make it third time lucky.
‘World’s best team’
“They are known to be the best team in the world, or at least one of them, and tonight they proved it to us all,” said Feyenoord coach Bert Van Marwijk.
“We were unable to get into the game at all until the second half. We battled hard in the first 20 minutes but we were unable to do anything to stop them. Maybe we made some bad decisions, but when a team is playing like them it is nearly impossible to stop them,” he said.
Real’s manager Vicente del Bosque said: “It was an important win that completes a cycle that includes winning the league (in 2001), Champions League and now the Supercup.
“It is important in our centenary year that we have won another title and started the season a winning note.”He declined to answer any questions about the protracted talks with Inter Milan over the possible transfer to Madrid of Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo. “I am not talking about him, not at all,” he said. “I can talk about the match. Not him.”
The Morientes issue
He was more forthcoming on the future of striker Fernando Morientes who was left out of the squad and not even included on the substitutes’ bench after day-long talks about a possible move. “This was the club’s decision to leave him out because some talks are at a very advanced stage and nobody wanted to take any risks at this time,” he said. “Whatever happens, we all know what he has done for Real Madrid and he has many good friends at the club and in the dressing room.”
Del Bosque would not identify the club, but Spanish reporters said it was likely that Morientes would sign for Barcelona if he could agree personal terms.
Madrid’s fans made their feelings for Morientes clear at the end of the game when they chanted his name as he collected his medal, wearing a club suit and tie, along with the rest of the squad.
“I will be happy for him if he stays or goes and we wish him luck whatever happens,” said Del Bosque. “He is a good player to have.”