Real Madrid and Manchester United are bidding to start the new season as they ended the old; by lifting silverware as they meet in the Uefa Super Cup in Skopje on Tuesday.
Furthermore, Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals made him the first player to score in three Uefa Champions League finals, and helped Madrid to a third title in four seasons.
United, meanwhile, defeated AFC Ajax 2-0 in the Uefa Europa League final in Stockholm on 24 May, becoming the fifth side to win all three major Uefa club competitions, adding to their three European Cups (1968, 1999, 2008) and the European Cup Winners' Cup success in 1991.
This match will be played in Skopje, the first Uefa club competition final to be held in FYR Macedonia.
This is Real Madrid's sixth appearance in the Uefa Super Cup (W3 L2); having lost their first two finals, they have won the last three.
2002: Real Madrid 3-1 Feyenoord (Paauwe og 15, Roberto Carlos 21, Guti 60; Van Hooijdonk 56)
Madrid are aiming to become the first team to win successive Uefa Super Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.
Victory would give Madrid four Uefa Super Cups; only Milan and FC Barcelona, with five apiece, have won more.
Spain have triumphed in the last three Uefa Super Cups, and in seven of the last eight. A Spanish side has not lost to non-Liga opponents since Madrid's defeat by Galatasaray in 2000.
A Madrid win would add to Spain's 13 Uefa Super Cup triumphs to date; Italy have nine with England on seven.
No English club has won the Uefa Super Cup since Liverpool FC defeated PFC CSKA Moskva in 2005. Since then, United (2008) and Chelsea FC (2012, 2013) have both lost in the match.
This is the sides' 11th meeting, with Madrid having won four and United two with four draws. Madrid have scored 20 goals to United's 16.
All of the previous contests between the clubs have come in the European Cup, with Madrid winning four of their five two-legged ties. The most recent contest, and what would prove to be Sir Alex Ferguson's final European tie in charge of United, came in the 2012-13 Uefa Champions League round of 16, Madrid coming through 3-2 on aggregate. The first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu ended 1-1, Cristiano Ronaldo – a United player between 2003 and 2009 – cancelling out Danny Welbeck's 20th-minute opener 10 minutes later.
Real Madrid: Diego López, Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrão, Khedira, Alonso (Pepe 84), Özil, Di María (Modric 75), Benzema (Higuaín 60), Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Kagawa (Giggs 64), Rooney (Anderson 84), Welbeck (Valencia 73), Van Persie.
Ronaldo also struck in the return in Manchester, giving Madrid a 2-1 win with a 69th-minute strike. Sergio Ramos' 48th-minute own goal had put United in front but, after Nani was sent off in the 56th minute, Luka Modric levelled 10 minutes later.
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael (Valencia 87), Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley (Rooney 73), Giggs, Nani, Welbeck (Young 81), Van Persie.
Real Madrid: Diego López, Arbeloa (Modric 59), Ramos, Varane, Coentrão, Khedira, Alonso, Özil (Pepe 71), Di María (Kaká 45+1), Higuaín, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ten years earlier, another Ronaldo – the Brazilian forward – had left Old Trafford to a standing ovation having scored a hat-trick to help Madrid to a 6-5 aggregate win in the 2002-03 quarter-finals. United actually won that second leg 4-3, with David Beckham – who joined Madrid that summer – scoring twice in the final 20 minutes, but bowed out having lost 3-1 in Spain. Zidane played all 180 minutes of the tie, setting up goals for Luís Figo and Raúl González in the first leg.
Madrid ended United's reign as Uefa Champions League holders in the 1999-2000 quarterfinals, winning 3-2 in the second leg in Manchester – Raúl scoring twice – and by the same aggregate score after a goalless first game.
United's sole two-legged triumph against Madrid came in their first victorious European Cup campaign, 1967-68, when the teams met in the semifinals. George Best scored the only goal of the first game in Manchester, before the English side recovered from 2-0 and 3-1 down to force a 3-3 draw at the Bernabéu.
Madrid, meanwhile, had overcome United, also in the last four, on the way to their second European title in 1956-57. A 3-1 first-leg win in Spain proved decisive, United's second-leg fightback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home not enough.
Madrid have lost only one of their last 18 European matches – 2-1 at Club Atletico Madrid in the 2016-17 Uefa Champions League semifinal second leg, when they went through 4-2 on aggregate – winning 12 and drawing five.
The Merengues are unbeaten in their last 10 games against Premier League opponents (W7 D3), since a 4-0 loss at Liverpool in the 2008-09 Uefa Champions League round of 16 second leg – their record defeat in the Uefa Champions League era.
Their last taste of Premier League opposition came against United's local rivals Manchester City FC in the 2015-16 Uefa Champions League semifinals, when Madrid won 1-0 in the home second leg and on aggregate.
Madrid's overall record against English clubs is P34 W14 D10 L10 F48 A38.
The Spanish side's record in finals against English teams is W0 L3. They were beaten by Chelsea in the 1970-71 European Cup Winners' Cup final and 1998 Uefa Super Cup, and lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the 1980-81 European Cup final.
United are unbeaten in their last 11 European matches (W8 D3) since a 2-1 loss at Fenerbahçe SK on matchday four of last season's Uefa Europa League. That reverse in Istanbul was their fifth in nine matches.
Jose Mourinho's side got the better of Spanish opposition in last season's Uefa Europa League semifinals, winning 1-0 at RC Celta de Vigo in the first leg thanks to a Marcus Rashford free-kick, and going through 2-1 on aggregate with a 1-1 home draw, Marouane Fellaini scored for United.
That win in Vigo means United have now won two of their last 10 matches against Spanish clubs, with four draws and four defeats in that time. The Red Devils have also won five of their last 21 matches with Liga opposition (D9 L7).
United have played 49 times against Liga clubs, with the record W13 D20 L16 F61 A68.
United have contested three finals with Spanish sides – all against FC Barcelona. They were 2-1 winners in the 1990-91 European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam but lost 2-0 in 2008-09 in Rome and 3-1 in London in 2010-11, both in the Uefa Champions League.
- Mourinho was Real Madrid coach from 2010 to 2013, winning the Liga title in 2012 – with a record 100 points – to add to the Copa del Rey claimed the previous year. He also guided the club to the Uefa Champions League semifinals in all three of his seasons in charge.
- Zidane played in both legs of Madrid's 2002-03 win against United, but as a Juventus player he suffered elimination at United's hands in the 1998-99 Uefa Champions League semifinals. He scored in the Bianconeri's 3-2 loss at Old Trafford in October 1997; his overall record as a player against United was W4 D1 L3.
- Cristiano Ronaldo was a Manchester United player between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the 2008 Uefa Champions League.
- David de Gea played for Atlético Madrid from 2009 to 2011, facing Real Madrid five times and losing every game.
- Ander Herrera was at Real Zaragoza from 2008 to 2011 and then Athletic Club until 2014. He drew one of his games against Real Madrid and lost the other five.
- Juan Mata spent four years with Madrid's academy but never played for the first team. He moved to Valencia CF in 2007 and scored in a 3-0 win against his former club in 2009.
- Eric Bailly's second appearance for Villarreal CF was in a 1-1 draw at Madrid on 1 March 2015; he appeared in both Liga games between the sides the following season, with both clubs winning their home game.
- Gareth Bale scored in Tottenham Hotspur's 3-2 win at United on 29 September 2012 – Spurs' first victory at Old Trafford in 23 years.
- Bale was at Tottenham between 2007 and 2013; Luka Modric was at White Hart Lane from 2008 to 2012.
- Toni Kroos was in the FC Bayern München side that beat United 4-2 on aggregate in the 2013-14 Uefa Champions League quarterfinals.
- Daley Blind faced Real Madrid three times with AFC Ajax and lost heavily on each occasion; 3-0 at home in 2011-12 and 4-1 home and away the following season, all in the Uefa Champions League group stage.
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan's Borussia Dortmund side were knocked out of the 2013-14 Uefa Champions League by Madrid despite a 2-0 home win in the quarterfinal second leg; they had been beaten 3-0 in Spain.
- Paul Pogba helped Juventus eliminate Madrid from the 2014-15 Uefa Champions League, featuring in a 1-1 second-leg draw at the Bernabéu.
David de Gea, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata & Isco, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Nacho (Spain)