Ferencvaros is to retain the cup, Marseille to write history again
Champions League winner Ferencvaros and Euro Cup holder Marseille is set to clash for the men’s Super Cup on Saturday in Marseille. Ferencvaros clinched the trophy a year ago and seek a fourth victory which would put them to the second place in the all-time ranks. Marseille is the first French team to play in this final, though needs to improve a lot as two weeks ago Ferencvaros beat them 13-7 in the second round of the Champions League prelims.
Men’s Super Cup Final, Marseille
20.30: FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v CN Marseille (FRA)
Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Raffele Colombo (ITA) – LEN Delegate: Gianni Lonzi (ITA)
It was Ferencvaros last November which managed to halt the Champions League winners’ triumphant march after 19 victories in the Super Cup finals as the Hungarians upended Olympiacos in a thrilling match in Budapest. And now it is Ferencvaros which tries to restart the winning streak of the European champions as it will play its third consecutive Super Cup final in Marseille but this time as the reigning Champions League victor.
The Budapest based club won the Euro Cup in 2017 and 2018: two years ago they lost the Super Cup final in a shootout to Szolnok but last year they edged out Olympiacos in the penalty roulette to win the trophy. Another half year gone and they did it again, this time in the Champions League final in Hannover, beating the Greeks by penalties once more.
While the Hungarians’ world selection – they have a tremendous mix of local and foreign talents – have amassed European trophies in recent seasons (and the club can also look back on a glorious past, among others, two more Super Cup trophies sit in their treasury, from 1978 and 1980), Marseille is a newcomer on the big stage.
The French earned a brilliant victory last spring in the Euro Cup finals against Montenegrin Jadran Herceg Novi. It was stunning but also historic: the first-ever European cup for a French side. So obviously the Saturday game is a premiere on French soil, the very first Super Cup final – at least in water polo (the other pearl of the Cote d’Azur, Monte Carlo was regular venue for the football Super Cup finals in the past).
Interestingly, the two sides were drawn to the same group in the current season of the Champions League and their first clash already took place two weeks ago in Budapest. It was a one-sided match as the title-holder Hungarians blew the French away right in the first half by rushing to a 7-1 lead and settling for a 13-7 win at the end.
Magician Denes Varga led the charge with four goals and Ioannis Fountoulis (signed from Olympiacos this summer) added three goals – these two equalled the number of goals Marseille could score in the entire match. The top shooters of the French, Montenegrin Ugo Crousillat (1/7) and Croatian Ante Vukicevic (1/5) couldn’t help as much as they usually do.
But playing in Marseille might make a difference – in fact, the French are fresh from landing their first ever win in the Champions League, beating Hannover 8-7 in an exciting encounter on Wednesday. Still, it’s going to be a challenge to catch FTC as the Magyars are yet to lose a game in this season – they are counting 11 wins in as many appearances (including the domestic ones) and they’ve come to Marseille to add the 12th win. That would be their 4th Super Cup trophy and that would put them to the second place on the all-time ranks behind 6-time winner Pro Recco