Spain’s next game against Portugal will be a grudge match 378 years in the making.
World soccer’s governing body conducted the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw on Friday in Moscow, with the outcome producing a host of pre-tournament storylines and one irresistible matchup: Spain vs. Portugal in Group B.
Not only are the teams on-field rivals, having competed for major trophies in recent years. They’re also neighbors, with centuries of cooperation and strife between them, dating back to long before Portugal re-established its independence from Spain in 1640.
They’ll face off June 15 in their opening game, and the winner likely will go on to win the group and set the stage for progression deep into the knockout phase and perhaps all the way to the final. Portugal and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, the greatest-ever player for Spain’s most successful club, likely will be the center of attention next summer.
On this week’s episode of the “NESN Soccer Show,” Courtney Cox, Marc DiBenedetto and Marcus Kwesi O’Mard discussed why Spain vs. Portugal will be the top game of the group stage, and you can watch the above video for their reasons.
You also can watch the entire episode here.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/UEFA.tv