European champions Real Madrid will be looking to maintain their position at the summit of continental football as they begin the new season against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Uefa Super Cup in Helsinki on Wednesday.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is the only manager to win the Champions League four times. He proved his mettle the previous season as he orchestrated a stunning march to the title. Real pulled off comeback victories over Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before defeating heavy favourites Liverpool 1-0 in the the final.
"All the comebacks we made were achieved in our stadium, thanks to that boost which came from the stands. Always believe, never give up. After all, we played against very strong teams. It was inevitable that we would suffer," Ancelotti told Uefa's website.
Madrid are chasing a fifth Super Cup title, and first since 2017, while Frankfurt will be making their first Super Cup appearance following a shootout victory over Rangers in the Europa League final.
The Italian coach said he saw echoes of Real's fighting spirit in their opponents Frankfurt, and is unwilling to take them lightly.
"Last year, Eintracht achieved something special because they weren't among the favourites," added Ancelotti, who returned for a second spell in charge of Real ahead of last season and led them to their 35th Spanish title.
Real will be banking on the core of their all-conquering squad from last season. Karim Benzema leads the way once again following his best season ever. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo are also back in an attack that was dominant last season, and the midfield remains anchored by the veteran trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
The Super Cup will start at 11pm UAE time.