Portugal v Spain background

Portugal got the better of Spain in the 1994 semi-finals and the play-offs for the 2002 finals, so can the four-time champions turn the tables in Group B?

U21 Portugal celebrate a goal in the 3-1 friendly win against Norway at Estoril in 24 March 2017
U21 Portugal celebrate a goal in the 3-1 friendly win against Norway at Estoril in 24 March 2017 ©FPF

Portugal have had the upper hand in their past encounters with Spain, as the teams prepare to meet for the first time in more than 15 years in the second round of Group B games.

Previous meetings
• This is the sides' fourth competitive meeting, and their first since 2001.

• Portugal were 2-0 winners against Spain in the 1994 semi-finals in Nimes thanks to second-half goals from Rui Costa (48) and João Pinto (82).

• Portugal also prevailed when the two countries faced off in the play-offs for the 2002 finals, despite losing the away first leg 2-1 in Jaen on 10 November 2001. Pablo Couñago (25) and Xisco (81) scored for Spain but it was Hélder Postiga's 32nd-minute strike for the visitors that proved crucial; Hugo Leal's solitary strike in the Faro return took Portugal through on away goals.

• The Portugal line-up for those 2001 matches included José Bosingwa, Simão, Miguel and Tiago; Xavi Hernández, José Reina, Carlos Marchena, Vicente Rodríguez and Joaquín Sánchez all played for Spain.

Match background

Portugal
• Portugal were runners-up to Sweden in the 2015 final – their first appearance in the tournament since 2007 – and also finished second in 1994 and third in 2004. Quarter-finalists in 1996, they would be eliminated in the final tournament group stage in 2002, 2006 (as hosts) and 2007.

• In 2017 qualifying, Portugal won eight and drew two of their ten Group 4 fixtures to finish five points clear at the head of the table. Their 34-goal haul was eclipsed only by Germany, who managed 35.

Spain
• Champions in 2011 and 2013, Spain missed the 2015 finals – losing to Serbia in the play-offs – but have qualified for the fourth time in five editions. They again needed the play-offs this time, having come second in Group 6 behind holders Sweden; Spain picked up seven wins and two draws from their ten games, losing only at home to Croatia (0-3).

• Spain were paired with Austria in the play-offs, going through on away goals after a 1-1 away draw and a goalless home draw.

• The Spanish were also champions in 1986 and 1998, when their squad featured Míchel Salgado, Guti, Miguel Ángel Angulo and Juan Carlos Valerón. They were runners-up in 1984 and 1996, and third in 1994 and 2000.

Coach and player links
• Portugal coach Rui Jorge scored an own goal to give Albert Celades's Real Madrid a 2-2 draw at Sporting CP in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage.

• Celades scored in each leg as Barcelona beat Portugal's Vitória SC in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup second round.

• Have played in Spain:
João Cancelo (Valencia 2014–)
Rui Silva (Granada 2017–)
Kevin Rodrigues (Real Sociedad 2015–)
Bruma (Real Sociedad 2015–16)
Diogo Jota (Atlético Madrid 2016–)
Edgar Ié (Barcelona B 2012–15, Villarreal B 2015–17)

• Have played in Portugal:
Alex Grimaldo (Benfica 2016–)
Óliver Torres (Porto 2014/15, 2016–)

• Have played at same club:
Munir El Haddadi, Santi Mina, José Luis Gayà & João Cancelo (Valencia)
Mikel Oyarzabal, Aritz Elustondo, Kevin Rodrigues & Bruma (2015–16, Real Sociedad)
Saúl Ñíguez & Diogo Jota (Atlético Madrid 2016–)
Munir El Haddadi (2014–15), Gerard Deulofeu (2012–13) & Edgar Ié (Barcelona B)
Denis Suárez & Edgar Ié (Villarreal B, 2015–16)

• El Haddadi struck twice in Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Pedro Rebocho's Benfica in the inaugural UEFA Youth League final of 2014.

• Borja Mayoral and Marco Asensio were both on target in Spain's 4-0 success against Portugal in the 2015 European U19 Championship elite round; Joel Pereira and André Horta were in the Portugal side.

• Jonny, Óliver Torres, Saúl Ñíguez and substitute Denis Suárez were in the Spain team that drew 3-3 with Portugal in the 2012 European U19 Championship group stage; Bruma – who got his side's first goal – and João Cancelo played for Portugal, for whom Bruno Varela was the reserve goalkeeper.

• Bruno Varela, Tobias Figueiredo, Edgar Ié, plus substitutes Carlos Mané and Ricardo Horta, were in the Portugal team beaten 1-0 by Spain in the 2013 European U19 Championship group stage.

Coach profiles

Rui Jorge, Portugal
A left-back who earned 44 caps for Portugal, playing at UEFA EURO 2000 and 2004, as well as the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He won seven Portuguese Liga titles and three Portuguese Cups with Porto and Sporting, and retired after a spell at Belensenses where he subsequently started coaching the U19s.

Named Portugal U21 coach in late 2010, he was unable to qualify for the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship, but then took his team all the way to the final of the 2015 edition, which they lost to Sweden on penalties. Also coached Portugal at the 2016 Olympic Games, getting to the last eight.

Albert Celades, Spain
A defensive midfielder who enjoyed a decorated 15-year playing career in which he won four Liga titles, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup. Having joined Barcelona aged 14, Celades debuted under Johan Cruyff in 1995/96; after 101 appearances, he moved to Celta Vigo before becoming one of the few players to cross the Barça-Real Madrid divide in 2000.

Five years later, after a loan stay with Bordeaux, he signed for Zaragoza and he then spent a season in Major League Soccer with New York, where he hung up his boots. In 2013, four years after retiring, he took over Spain's U16s. The U21 job came along when Julen Lopetegui, now in charge of the seniors, left for Porto in 2014.