There are few rivalries in international football, but of those that do exist, Portugal and Spain are without doubt up right up there with the best of them.
Location wise, Portugal are very much the David to Spain’s Goliath, and over the course of history, results tend to reflect that – except in this instance, Goliath wins because you know, he’s bigger.
However, there have been some euphoric instances where the Bible tale rings true, and the Portuguese come out unlikely victors.
Here’s six classic clashes from the Iberian derby:
6. Spain 9-0 Portugal (March 1934)
Kicking off our classic clashes between the two rivals is the first ever time they met at a major tournament. Or, at least, in qualifying for a major tournament – the World Cup.
50,000 people watched as the Spaniards swept their opponents away with an obviously convincing 9-0 victory. Eduardio Gonzalez opened the scoring after only three minutes in what was to be a depressing day for the Portuguese.
Five of Isidro Langara’s 17 Spain goals came on that day; netting a hat-trick, before a Luis Regueiro brace interrupted his scoring along with a sole finish from Marti Ventorla.
Langara then completed the rout with the 8th and 9th of the day. A tough evening for the visitors.
5. Spain 5-1 Portugal (April 1950)
Meeting each other in World Cup qualifying an entire 16 years after that incredible Spain victory, it was very much ‘more of the same’ as Portugal fell once again by a heavy scoreline.
The damage was done early on; After 15 minutes Spain were 3-0 thanks to goals from Telmo Zarra, Estanslau Basora and Jose Panizo.
Fernando Cabrita attempted a comeback when notching for Portugal in the 36th minute, but another from Zarra all but ended the game before Luis Molowny secured the 5-1 win.
4. Spain 0-4 Portugal (June 2004)
Nuno Gomes’ striker proved to be the only goal of the game when Portugal broke their Iberian rivals’ hearts in Euro 2004. Though Spain weren’t knocked out of the tournament, it proved to be a monumental day for the winners.
This match was Portugal’s first ever victory over the Spanish in a major tournament, and their first win over Spain since 1981!
The deciding striker came from Gomes’s well struck effort from 20 yards in the 57th minute- an unlikely match winner who had only been in the game since the start of the second half.
3. Spain 1-0 Portugal (June 2010)
The Spanish earned their revenge over Portugal six years after losing to them in Euro 2004, by Nuno Gomes’ winner, with a win that took the victors through to the quarter finals in South Africa.
The scoreline ill reflects the dominance shown by Spain, who enjoyed 62% possession on the day. However, they did fall victim to a bombardment of first half efforts from their opponents – none of which came to anything.
It was David Villa who scored the only goal of the game, latching onto a well placed ball from Xavi, knocking Portugal out in the process.
2. Portugal 4-0 Spain (November 2010)
It seems that Spain were enduring a World Cup hangover when the two sides met at the end of 2010. A humiliating year for the Portuguese ended with them holding bragging rights over their rivals with a humbling 4-0 victory over the world champions.
The scoring finally got underway when Carlos Martins broke the deadlock at the death of the first half, and from that point the floodgates opened. After the break, Helder Postiga secured the win with a fifteen minute brace, and Hugo Almeida put Spain to the sword with a 93rd minute effort to rub insult to injury.
A small consolation for Portugal, but a sweet victroy nonetheless.
1. Portugal 0-0 Spain (Spain Win 4-2 on Penalties) (June 2012)
The final classic clash arrives as the last time the Iberian derby took place, six years ago in Euro 2012. Though the 0-0 doesn’t make for the best reading, the weight of the tie made the match all the more tense – the victor progressing to the final.
It took until penalties before the net was rumbled for the first time, and even then Joao Moutinho and Xabi Alonso missed the opening spot kicks.
However, the Spanish came out victorious. Iniesta, Pique, Ramos had all netted from 12 yards, when Bruno Alves missed his opportunity. It was Cesc Fabregas that scored the decider – and Spain went on to win the tournament.