Europe's top clubs set for Belfast as Windsor Park to host 2021 UEFA Super Cup final
Windsor Park will host one of the most glamorous games and two of the best teams in world football in 2021 following Uefa's announcement that the European Super Cup final is coming to Belfast.
Irish Football Association chiefs are overjoyed that Northern Ireland has been chosen to host the fixture between the Champions League winners and Europa League victors in two years' time.
In this year's Super Cup, played in Istanbul last month, Liverpool defeated Chelsea on penalties and come 2021, 18,000 fans inside Windsor can expect to be watching teams of that magnitude and a host of superstar players.
The great Cristiano Ronaldo has already played at Windsor for Portugal. If Barcelona win the Champions League next season, the iconic Lionel Messi (right) will be strutting his stuff in Belfast.
Other European giants such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Ronaldo's Juventus will fancy their chances of a trip to Belfast while Liverpool and Manchester United would love to play in Northern Ireland given their incredible support here.
It is a mouthwatering prospect which the IFA say came about after extensive lobbying to Uefa by President David Martin and Chief Executive Patrick Nelson combined with a strong bid team, led by Craig Stanfield.
The IFA had previously lost out on two occasions to stage European football's curtain raiser but at yesterday's Uefa executive committee meeting in Slovenia, they beat off competition from Belarus, Finland and Ukraine for the 2021 showpiece.
Nelson said: "This is fantastic news for everyone at the association, the city of Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole. It is a huge feather in our cap."
In a boost for Irish League sides Uefa have confirmed that a third European club competition called the Uefa Europa Conference League will begin in 2021. It is aimed at giving clubs in more countries, such as Northern Ireland, a chance to participate in European football and enjoy the riches that comes with it.
UEFA has also announced that Wembley is set to host the 2023 Champions League Final.
Belfast Telegraph Digital