While the United States men’s national soccer team won’t take on Portugal on the sport’s greatest stage for another three weeks, fans in New England will get an early look at Cristiano Ronaldo & Co.
Portugal will face Mexico in an exhibition game this Friday at Gillette Stadium, as both teams gear up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Portuguese squad — No. 3 in the FIFA world rankings — arrived Monday night in New Jersey, where it will practice for a few days before heading up to Foxboro.
The team was honored by Portugal president Aníbal Cavaco Silva before departing — a visit that of course included a selfie with the president.
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Gillette Stadium has hosted several international soccer games in the past, including one between Portugal and Brazil last September that drew a crowd of 62,310. Brazil won that game 3-1, though Portugal was playing without Ronaldo, the winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or as the world’s top player.
The record for the largest crown ever for a soccer game at Gillette was set in 2007, when 67,684 fans turned out to watch Brazil defeat Mexico 3-1.
Portugal will play the U.S. on Sunday, June 22 in the second game of World Cup group G play for both teams.