On Wednesday night in Tallinn, Estonia, Atletico Madrid finally got the better of local rivals Real Madrid in a final, defeating them 4-2 to win the UEFA Super Cup. The match was also the first to introduce the use of blockchain powered mobile ticketing for every spectator.
After decades of resisting any and all forms of change, UEFA, European soccer’s chief governing body and second only in global importance to FIFA, are suddenly keen to show their intent on moving with the times. First it was finally introducing VAR (Video Assisted Referees) into games, and now it’s by using blockchain technology to power a mobile ticketing app, eliminating traditional paper tickets.
The first match to try out this technology was the UEFA Super Cup game between Atletico and Real Madrid.
Atletico Madrid 4-2 Real Madrid
On Wednesday (August 15) at the Lilleküla Stadium in Tallinn, Estonia, Atletico Madrid hammered favorites Real Madrid 4-2 in a gripping encounter between bitter rivals. The match was for the UEFA Super Cup, one of the showpiece games of the annual soccer calendar.
The game itself was a thriller; former Chelsea striker Diego Costa fired Atletico into the lead after just 45 seconds, but Real’s Karim Benzema equalized on 27 minutes. Real enjoyed greater possession and had more shots at goal, and their attacking play earned them a penalty in the 63rd minute, which was converted by the omnipresent Sergio Ramos, giving Real a 2-1 lead.
Madrid’s new manager Julen Lopetegui may have dared to dream that he was about to lift his first trophy for the club, and lay to rest a bizarre summer that saw him sacked as Spain manager just 2 days before the start of the World Cup – for taking the Real Madrid job, but failing to inform the Spanish FA.
However, Atletico Madrid have been the most resilient team in Europe for the best part of a decade, thanks largely to their manager Diego Simeone. Atletico didn’t panic, they just played their pressing game, and in the 79th minute Diego Costa grabbed the equalizer with his second goal of the night.
Atletico had lost to Real in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals, and they were determined it wasn’t going to happen again. Despite being outplayed for much of extra time, they defended resolutely, and in the 98th minute took the lead courtesy of a stunning volley from Academy boy Saul Niguez, and six minutes later it was all over when another home-grown star, Koke slotted home Atletico’s fourth.
For Atletico’s talisman Antoine Griezmann, it was a case of history repeating itself, with his second major trophy won in Eastern Europe in a matter of weeks; just last month he and his France teammates lifted the World Cup in Russia.
Blockchain-Based Mobile Ticketing – Embraced Or Rejected?
UEFA certainly picked the right event to try out their brand new ticket app, the first ever to use blockchain technology. Traditionally, the UEFA Super Cup is an excellent curtain-raiser for the brand new football season across Europe. The UEFA Super Cup trophy is contested by the winners of the two biggest tournaments in European club football, the UEFA Champions League, and the Europa League.
So while winning the Super Cup is a great way to start the season, it is nowhere near as important to teams or fans as the Champions League, Europa League or a domestic cup competition like the English FA Cup or Spanish Copa Del Rey.
Which makes it a perfect game to use as a testing ground.
There is bound to be a great deal of initial resistance toward mobile ticketing, mainly from soccer traditionalists who prefer the look and feel of paper tickets and their sentimental/collectible value. However, many sporting organizations already believe mobile ticketing is a more efficient, secure way to provide admission. And Blockchain is a way of ensuring this.
UEFA’s system uses Blockchain to guarantee the validity of mobile tickets, which are downloaded onto a user’s mobile device via an iOS or Android application. Entry is gained by presenting the mobile ticket with Bluetooth devices dotted around the stadium.
Benefits Of The Blockchain
There are many benefits from replacing traditional paper tickets with Blockchain mobile ticketing:
It is far more difficult for third parties to purchase large numbers of tickets with the intent of selling them on at a profit, a term known as “scalping”, if they are only available in a digital format.
Blockchain mobile ticketing completely eliminates the threat of unauthorized replications and duplications. Not only does this ensure that genuine supporters are more likely to get tickets, it also eliminates the possibility of fakes.
Mobile ticketing is super-convenient for fans; they can purchase their tickets in an instant, there’s no worry about losing pieces of paper, or desperately looking for a printer. As long as the fan has a smartphone, they have their ticket.