The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football match between the reigning champions of the two major European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. It takes place at the start of the domestic season, in August, and is contested by the winners of the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions.
Chelsea have won the UEFA Super Cup on two occasions:
- In 1998 when they defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in Monaco.
- In 2021 when they defeated Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Belfast.
So Chelsea won the Super Cup in 1998 and 2021. Their two victories came 23 years apart.
Chelsea’s 1998 Super Cup Win
Chelsea qualified for the 1998 Super Cup as winners of the 1997-98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. This was a cup competition that ran from 1960 to 1999, contested by the various domestic cup winners in Europe.
In the 1997-98 season, Chelsea won the English FA Cup under manager Gianluca Vialli. This earned them a place in the Cup Winners’ Cup. Chelsea went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup, beating Stuttgart 1-0 in the final in Stockholm.
As Cup Winners’ Cup champions, Chelsea faced Champions League winners Real Madrid in the 1998 Super Cup at the Stade Louis II stadium in Monaco. The only goal of the game came in the 81st minute, scored by Chelsea’s Gustavo Poyet. Chelsea won 1-0 to claim their first UEFA Super Cup title.
1998 Super Cup Final Teams
Ed de Goey, Albert Ferrer, Frank Leboeuf, Marcel Desailly, Celestine Babayaro, Dan Petrescu, Dennis Wise, Roberto Di Matteo, Gus Poyet, Tore Andre Flo, Gianfranco Zola.
Bodo Illgner, Christian Panucci, Fernando Hierro, Manual Sanchis, Roberto Carlos, Clarence Seedorf, Predrag Mijatovic, Davor Suker, Raul, Fernando Morientes, Santiago Solari.
1998 Super Cup Match Details
Date: 28 August 1998
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco
Chelsea – Gus Poyet 81′
Real Madrid – None
Result: Chelsea 1-0 Real Madrid
This was Chelsea’s first major European trophy and gave the club momentum going into the inaugural Champions League season in 1998-99.
The Long Wait for Chelsea’s Second Super Cup Title
After winning the Super Cup in 1998, Chelsea had to wait nearly a quarter of a century before getting their hands on the trophy for the second time.
The 1998 Super Cup win remained Chelsea’s only triumph in the competition throughout the 2000s and 2010s, despite the club enjoying tremendous success in the Champions League and Europa League during this period:
- Champions League semi-finalists in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
- Champions League runners-up in 2008.
- Champions League winners in 2012 under Roberto Di Matteo.
- Europa League winners in 2013 under Rafa Benitez and 2019 under Maurizio Sarri.
However, Chelsea were unable to add a second UEFA Super Cup to their trophy cabinet across these two decades. Whenever they won the Champions League or Europa League, the cup holders would fall short in that season’s Super Cup:
- In 2012, Chelsea lost 4-1 to Atletico Madrid after winning the 2011-12 Champions League.
- In 2013, Chelsea lost on penalties to Bayern Munich after winning the 2012-13 Europa League.
- In 2019, Chelsea lost 5-4 on penalties to Liverpool after winning the 2018-19 Europa League.
So despite enjoying regular European success between 1998 and 2021, Chelsea were denied another Super Cup, losing three finals during this period.
Chelsea Finally Win the 2021 Super Cup
Chelsea had to wait until August 2021 to finally get their hands on the Super Cup trophy for the second time. This came after they won their second Champions League title under manager Thomas Tuchel, defeating Manchester City 1-0 in the 2020-21 final.
As Champions League winners, Chelsea earned the right to face Europa League champions Villarreal in the 2021 Super Cup final, held at Windsor Park in Belfast.
The match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Chelsea taking the lead through Hakim Ziyech in the first half before Gerard Moreno equalized for Villarreal in the 73rd minute.
With no more goals in extra time, the final went to a penalty shoot-out. Every penalty was successfully converted until the 10th pair of takers, when Villarreal’s Raul Albiol had his shot saved by Edouard Mendy. Chelsea’s Jorginho then scored to claim a 6-5 shoot-out victory and Chelsea’s second Super Cup title.
2021 Super Cup Final Teams
Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner.
Geronimo Rulli, Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno, Manuel Trigueros, Francis Coquelin, Yeremi Pino, Dani Parejo, Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer.
2021 Super Cup Match Details
Date: 11 August 2021
Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast
Chelsea – Hakim Ziyech 27′
Villarreal – Gerard Moreno 73′
Result: Chelsea 1-1 Villarreal (Chelsea won 6-5 on penalties)
Winning the Super Cup capped an excellent start to life at Chelsea for manager Thomas Tuchel, who had only taken charge in January 2021. The German tactician had transformed the team, leading them to Champions League glory within just five months in the job.
Comparing Chelsea’s Two Super Cup Wins
While there was a 23-year gap between Chelsea’s two UEFA Super Cup triumphs, there are some interesting similarities between the 1998 and 2021 finals:
- Both matches were closely contested, finishing 1-0 in 1998 and 1-1 (pens) in 2021.
- Chelsea scored their goals at similar times – the 81st minute in 1998 and 73rd minute in 2021.
- Both games required extra time/penalties to separate the teams.
- Chelsea won both Super Cups under foreign managers – Vialli (Italy) and Tuchel (Germany).
However, there are also some contrasts between the two victories:
- In 1998 Chelsea qualified by winning Cup Winners’ Cup; in 2021 they qualified by winning Champions League.
- Chelsea’s 1998 opponents Real Madrid were a huge club; Villarreal in 2021 were a far smaller outfit.
- Chelsea’s 1998 win came with a late goal in normal time; their 2021 win came on penalties after extra time.
- The 1998 Super Cup was only Chelsea’s second ever European trophy; the 2021 win came after Chelsea had become an established European force.
Although there are similarities across the two matches, Chelsea were a far bigger and more experienced club by the time they won their second Super Cup title in 2021.
Chelsea’s Super Cup Wins in Context of their All-Time Honours
Chelsea’s two UEFA Super Cup triumphs account for a relatively small portion of the major honours won by the club throughout their history.
Some of Chelsea’s other major trophy wins:
- 6 Premier League titles
- 8 FA Cups
- 5 League Cups
- 2 UEFA Champions Leagues
- 2 UEFA Europa Leagues
- 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
Chelsea have also won the FIFA Club World Cup once, in 2012.
So while Chelsea’s two Super Cup wins were important European milestones for the club, particularly the breakthrough 1998 victory, the Super Cup accounts for just a fraction of Chelsea’s overall trophy haul.
Their six English league titles and two Champions League triumphs are considered far more significant than Chelsea’s two Super Cup wins in the grand scheme of the club’s success.
Nonetheless, the Super Cup titles remain cherished moments in Chelsea’s history, rewarding the team’s continental achievements in those seasons. Lifting that first Super Cup trophy in 1998 was a landmark occasion for Chelsea on the European stage.
In summary, Chelsea have won the UEFA Super Cup on two occasions, 23 years apart:
- 1998 – Beat Real Madrid 1-0 after winning the Cup Winners’ Cup.
- 2021 – Beat Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after winning the Champions League.
The 1998 Super Cup win was Chelsea’s breakthrough European trophy under Gianluca Vialli and a huge deal for the club at the time.
Their 2021 win consolidated Chelsea’s status as an established European force, as they finally claimed a second Super Cup after several near misses.
While these victories account for just a small portion of Chelsea’s overall honours list, they will always be remembered as special European feats in the club’s history. That first Super Cup success in 1998 remains an iconic Chelsea triumph on the continent.