The Franco-Portuguese friendship is tenacious. This Wednesday evening, the two nations will face each other to decide the outcome of this Pool F. The French, already qualified and who know who they can face in the eighth, will aim for victory to secure first place. Portugal, for its part, must not lose by more than two goals to remain in contention in the competition.
Even if we have the impression that this confrontation is classic, it is not all that regular. Since Cristiano Ronaldo played for the national team (2003), the two nations have only met six times. Few friendly matches, and especially confrontations in the elimination phase of the competitions.
Benzema and Pogba already in good shape
The first time was in 2006. Zidane’s Blues, who eliminated Spain and Brazil, saw a proud Portuguese team arrive in front of them, with Deco, Figo, Pauleta and of course from Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite Portuguese domination (twelve shots against five), the French will win on a penalty conceded by Ricardo Carvalho on Thierry Henry and transformed by Zinedine Zidane. Despite all their attempts, Ricardo’s teammates will never come back to score.
Eight years later, the two nations come together to play a friendly match. This time, the Blues win without really forcing, two years before their Euro, in France. The two scorers of the meeting will be present, most likely at kick-off, since they are Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba. Quaresma from the penalty spot closed the gap. Less than a year later, another friendly meeting, the Blues won 1-0, thanks to Mathieu Valbuena.
In regulation time, the Blues have never lost
No more friendly, it’s time for competitions. The two teams, you know, meet in the final of Euro 2016, at the Stade de France. This time, the Blues largely dominate and take advantage of the injury exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, who does not succeed against the Blues. Finally, at the very end of extra time, Eder, with a long shot, beats Hugo Lloris and offers the trophy to his country.
Finally, the two nations have met the last two times for the League of Nations. Once again, advantage to the Blues. During the meeting on home soil, the France team had to deal with a formidable opponent and the draw reflected the appearance of the match rather well. On the other hand, for the return, which remains the last confrontation between the two teams, on November 14, 2020, Santos’ men were prickly, but it was N’Golo Kanté, who offered the victory to Didier Deschamps. You will understand, the two formations did not meet much, but advantage to the Blues with four victories, a draw and a defeat. But, in the space of 90 minutes, the Seleção never beat the French …