Spanish Super Cup to take place in Saudi Arabia as Barcelona draw Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid take on Valencia – The Sun

REAL MADRID and Barcelona were kept apart in the draw for the revamped Spanish Super Cup as the competition heads to Saudi Arabia in January.

The Catalans were drawn to face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals while Real will take on Valencia at Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports City.

Antoine Griezmann is therefore set for another match-up with his former club, who he left for £108million in the summer and will return to in the league next month.

The semi-finals will be played on January 8 and 9 with the final on January 12 – and no third-place game.

It also means these four sides have been given a bye through the second round of the Copa del Rey, due to be played that week back in Spain.

The reasons behind the switch to Arabia are officially down to easing fixture congestion and promoting Spain's bid for the 2030 World Cup.

However the Supercopa has recently turned into a political football with teams and authorities squabbling over when to shoehorn the tie in.

Typically a two-legged affair, last season saw Barcelona beat Sevilla in a one-off clash in Morocco due to the Andalusians' having to also contend with Europa League qualifying.

Therefore the decision was taken to completely revamp the competition and convert it into a four-team excursion in January.

It was announced earlier in the year that two semi-finals and a final will be played between the top three in La Liga and the Copa del Rey winners.

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The Spanish FA have also announced plans to create and oversee a women's tournament in Saudi Arabia with all Super Cup profit going to grassroots football.

There are also hopes a successful running of the new format will help bolster Spain's image in their bid for the 2030 World Cup.

A number of other countries are keen on hosting that competition including the United Kingdom, Morocco, and joint bids by South American and Eastern European countries.

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