Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has hit back at Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde's criticism of the new Spanish Super Cup format, telling him to file a complaint if he doesn't like it.
Per Marca's Mari Carmen Torres, Carvajal was told of Valverde's condemnation after Madrid's semi-final win over Valencia, and the full-back didn't feel the same way: "He should file a complaint. It's different, and the atmosphere is different. I have played some Supercopa matches in August, and many people are still on holiday. I've even played Clasicos and the atmosphere wasn't favourable."
When he was reminded Real qualified for the tournament as La Liga's third-placed team, he said: "The tournament rules are clear. The third-placed team in the league is the one who qualifies, and there's no need to dismiss that. We're here to win it. We're in the final, and I hope Real Madrid can be at every edition."
The Spanish Super Cup was traditionally contested by the La Liga and Copa del Rey winners, being Barcelona and Valencia, respectively. This year's event also includes Real and Atletico Madrid, however, in a knockout format.
Valverde prefers the old setup and said money is the reason behind the change and the tournament's hosting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
The Evening Standard's Ben Hayward also voiced criticism:
Los Blancos knocked out Copa del Rey winners Valencia in the first semi-final, winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Toni Kroos, Isco and Luka Modric. Carvajal played the full contest. Here are the highlights from the match:
Real have won the Super Cup 10 times, most recently in 2017. La Liga champions Barcelona are the record-holders with 13 wins. Barca face Atletico in the semi-finals on Thursday.
The rivalry between the two giants of Spanish football has been close in the 2019-20 campaign. They are tied at the top of the standings on 40 points and played out a goalless draw in the first Clasico of the season in December.