Portugal–Spain football rivalry

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Iberian Derby
Spain and Portugal match at the FIFA World Cup 2010-06-29 7.jpg
Sergio Ramos (top center) of Spain tries to pass the ball to Fernando Torres (center) as Portugal's Fábio Coentrão (left), Bruno Alves (right) and Cristiano Ronaldo (top) look on during a match at 2010 FIFA World Cup match.
Locale Spain, Portugal
Teams  Spain
First meeting Spain 3–1 Portugal
(18 December 1921)
Latest meeting Portugal 3–3 Spain
FIFA World Cup 2018
(15 June 2018)
Next meeting unknown
Meetings total 36
Top scorer Lángara (7)
All-time series 18 (Spain) – 6 (Portugal) – 13 (draw)
Largest victory Spain 9–0 Portugal
1934 FIFA World Cup Q
(11 March 1934)

The PortugalSpain football rivalry (also known as The Iberian War or The Iberian Derby) is one of the oldest football rivalries at a national level. It began on 18 December 1921, when Portugal lost 3-1 to Spain at Madrid in their first ever international friendly game. Portugal lost their first matches, with their first draw (2–2) only coming in 1926. Portugal's first win came much later (4–1) in 1947.

Both belong to the strongest football nations of the world, and have met a total of 36 times (of which 8 matches were competitive) which resulted in 18 victories for Spain, 12 draws and 6 victories for Portugal.


The rivalry between two countries goes back to 1581, when the king Henry of Portugal died with no heir and it triggered a succession crisis. Where the main claimants to the throne were Philip II of Spain and Anthony, Prior of Crato. Philip II of Spain was made king, and he united both Crown of Portugal and Spanish Crown to form Iberian Union. It lasted only 60 years until 1640, when the Portuguese Restoration War was initiated against Spain, and Portugal regained its independence under the Braganza dynasty. In the 18th century, wars were very often between the major kingdoms and Portugal and Spain always found themselves on the opposite sides. The Portuguese, courtesy of their long-standing alliance, aligned themselves with Great Britain, while Spain, through the Bourbon Family Compact, allied themselves to France. In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, Spain launched an unsuccessful invasion of Portugal.

In 1777, there was a conflict between the two states over the borders of their possessions in South America.

During Napoleonic Era, in 1807, the king of Spain and his French allies invaded Portugal, using a route that crossed through Spanish territory. However, the French decided to take over both countries, overthrowing the King of Spain and forcing the Portuguese royal family to escape to the Portuguese colony of Brazil. After the fall of Napoleon, both countries came close to war a number of times during the early 19th century. Both lost their American colonies shortly after the end of the Peninsular War, which severely weakened their global power.

Major Tournaments[edit]

1934 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

First leg[edit]

Spain 9 – 0 Portugal
González Goal 3'
Lángara Goal 13'14' (pen.)46'71'85'
Regueiro Goal 65'70'
Ventolrà Goal 68'

Second leg[edit]

Portugal 1 – 2 Spain
Silva Goal 10' (Report) Lángara Goal 12'25'

1950 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

First leg[edit]

Spain and Portugal met in 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification round with Spain going away with a 5-1 victory at home.[1]

Spain 5–1 Portugal
Zarra Goal 11'58'
Basora Goal 13'
Panizo Goal 15'
Molowny Goal 65'
Report Cabrita Goal 36'
Attendance: 80,000
Referee: Reg Leafe (England)

Second leg[edit]

Second leg saw both sides drawing 2-2, meaning Spain qualified for 1950 FIFA World Cup after defeating Portugal 5-1 in first leg.[2]

Portugal 2–2 Spain
Travassos Goal 51'
Correia Goal 53'
Report Zarra Goal 24'
Gaínza Goal 82'
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Jack Mowat (Scotland)

UEFA Euro 1984[edit]

In UEFA Euro 1984 group stage Portugal and Spain were paired together, both sides qualified to the next round as Portugal drew Spain 1-1. António Sousa gave Portugal in 52nd minute, after 21 minutes Santillana equalised for Spain at 73rd minute.[3]

Portugal 1–1 Spain
Sousa Goal 52' Report Santillana Goal 73'
Attendance: 24,364

UEFA Euro 2004[edit]

Portugal and Spain faced off in group stage of UEFA Euro 2004 hosted by Portugal. Portugal won the game 1-0 as half time substitute Nuno Gomes scored a goal from 20 yards, giving Portugal their first ever victory against Spain in a major tournament, this was also Portugal first victory over Spain since 1981.[4]

Spain 0–1 Portugal
Report Nuno Gomes Goal 57'
Attendance: 47,491
Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Spain defeated Portugal 1–0 in the Iberian derby to progress to the quarter finals where they were to play Paraguay. The game took place on Tuesday 29 June 2010 at the Cape Town Stadium. Spain dominated the game with a ball possession ratio of 62% and several opportunities, but had to endure a pair of missed chances by the Portuguese in the first half, including one by Hugo Almeida which nearly resulted in a goal. In the second half, the Portuguese attacking threat decreased, and the entry of Fernando Llorente for Fernando Torres on the field brought new energy to the Spanish team. The only goal of the match came on the 63rd minute: David Villa picked up a brilliant pass by Xavi, having his first shot saved, but then lifted the rebound into the roof of the net.[5] Post-match replays showed that the goal was scored from an offside position (0.22m according to ESPN axis).[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Spain 1–0 Portugal
David Villa 63' Report

UEFA Euro 2012[edit]

Portugal faced Spain for the sixth time in a major tournament at UEFA Euro 2012 semi-finals.[12] In early minutes of first half, Spain missed an scoring opportunity as Álvaro Arbeloa shot a half-cleared ball by Bruno Alves just above the crossbar. After a Portugal free-kick hit the wall, Spain started a counter-attack with Xavi passing the ball at the edge of the box, just to be hit above the crossbar by Andrés Iniesta. Halfway through first half Cristiano Ronaldo shot just waved past the Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas missing the goal by inches. In the 85th minute Portugal got two back-to-back freekicks as Ronaldo was fouled for the first one and second for handball which happened as Ronaldo hit the first freekick at the wall, the second freekick went above the bar, as the 90 minutes ended with a 0-0 scoreline. At 95th minute Portuguese keeper Rui Patrício saved a shot from Iniesta as he fired in a cross in the six yard box. As extra-time ended 0-0, the penalty shootout started, Spain went out victorious as Cristiano Ronaldo didn't take a penalty after Xabi Alonso saw Patrício saving his first penalty. After the match Portuguese coach Paulo Bento said: "We had this order. Ronaldo was fifth."[13][14][15]

Portugal 0–0 (a.e.t.) Spain
Moutinho Penalty missed
Pepe Penalty scored
Nani Penalty scored
Alves Penalty missed
2–4 Penalty missed Alonso
Penalty scored Iniesta
Penalty scored Piqué
Penalty scored Ramos
Penalty scored Fàbregas
Attendance: 48,000[16]

2018 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Spain faced Portugal in the second match of Group B. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal an early lead from the spot-kick in 4th minute of the match after deceiving Nacho inside the box. In the 24th minute, Diego Costa equalised for Spain after scoring past the Portuguese defence. Isco then saw his shot thumping against the post. Ronaldo gave Portugal lead once again in 44th minute after Spanish keeper David de Gea was unable to handle the shot. Costa once again equalised for Spanish side in the 55th minute. Nacho redeemed himself after scoring a superb half-volley from outside the box at 58th minute. Gerard Piqué brought down Ronaldo outside the box at 86th minute, Ronaldo scored the free kick to equalise the game at 3-3, earning his first-ever World Cup hat-trick.[17][18]

Portugal 3–3 Spain

List of Matches[edit]

Number Date Venue Competition Result
1 18 December 1921 Spain Madrid Friendly Spain  3–1  Portugal
2 17 December 1922 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  1–2  Spain
3 16 December 1923 Spain Seville Friendly Spain  3–0  Portugal
4 17 May 1925 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  0–2  Spain
5 10 January 1928 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  2-2  Spain
6 17 March 1929 Spain Seville Friendly Spain  5–0  Portugal
7 30 November 1930 Portugal Porto Friendly Portugal  0–1  Spain
8 2 April 1933 Spain Vigo Friendly Spain  3–0  Portugal
9 11 March 1934 Spain Madrid 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification Spain  9–0  Portugal
10 18 March 1934 Portugal Lisbon 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification Portugal  1–2  Spain
11 5 May 1935 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  3–3  Spain
12 12 January 1941 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  2–2  Spain
13 16 March 1941 Spain Bilbao Friendly Spain  5–1  Portugal
14 13 March 1945 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  2–2  Spain
15 6 May 1945 Spain La Coruña Friendly Spain  4–2  Portugal
16 26 January 1947 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  4–1  Spain
17 20 March 1948 Spain Madrid Friendly Spain  2–0  Portugal
18 20 March 1949 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  1–1  Spain
19 2 April 1950 Spain Madrid 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification Spain  5–1  Portugal
20 9 April 1950 Portugal Lisbon 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification Portugal  2–2  Spain
21 3 June 1956 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  3–1  Spain
22 13 April 1958 Spain Madrid Friendly Spain  1–0  Portugal
23 15 November 1964 Portugal Porto Friendly Portugal  2–1  Spain
24 26 September 1979 Spain Vigo Friendly Spain  1–1  Portugal
25 20 June 1981 Portugal Porto Friendly Portugal  2–0  Spain
26 17 June 1984 France Marseille UEFA Euro 1984 Portugal  1-1  Spain
27 16 January 1991 Spain Castellón Friendly Spain  1-1  Portugal
28 15 January 1992 Portugal Torres Novas Friendly Portugal  0-0  Spain
29 19 January 1994 Spain Vigo Friendly Spain  2-2  Portugal
30 13 February 2002 Spain Barcelona Friendly Spain  1-1  Portugal
31 6 September 2003 Portugal Guimarães Friendly Portugal  0–3  Spain
32 20 June 2004 Portugal Lisbon UEFA Euro 2004 Spain  0-1  Portugal
33 29 June 2010 South Africa Cape Town 2010 FIFA World Cup Spain  1–0  Portugal
34 17 November 2010 Portugal Lisbon Friendly Portugal  4–0  Spain
35 27 June 2012 Ukraine Donetsk UEFA Euro 2012 Portugal  0–0 (2–4p)  Spain
36 15 June 2018 Russia Sochi 2018 FIFA World Cup Portugal  3–3  Spain



Matches Wins Draws Goals
Portugal Spain Portugal Spain
FIFA World Cup* 6 0 4 2 7 22
UEFA European Championship 3 1 0 2** 2 1
All competitions 9 1 4 4 9 23
Friendly 27 5 12 10 35 52
All matches 36 6 16 14 44 75

Top goalscorers[edit]

# Player FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup qualification UEFA European Championship UEFA European Championship qualifying Friendly All matches
1 Spain Isidro Lángara5 7 2 9
2 Portugal Fernando Peyroteo 7 7
3 Spain Telmo Zarra 3 3 6
4 Portugal Francisco Palmeiro 3 3
Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo 3 3
Portugal José Travassos 1 2 3
Spain Epifanio Fernández 3 3
Spain César Rodríguez 3 3
Spain Gaspar Rubio 3 3
Spain José Luis Zabala 3 3

5 Player scored 5 goals

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spain 5-1 Portugal". www.goal.com. goal. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Portugal 2-2 Spain". www.goal.com. goal. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  3. ^ "Santillana saves Spain against Portugal". www.uefa.com. UEFA. 4 October 2003. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "Spain 0-1 Portugal". www.BBC.com. BBC. 20 June 2004. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Bevan, Chris. "Spain 1-0 Portugal". BBC News. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Spain's Villa, Argentine Refs send Portugal packing for deserved summer vacation". livesoccertv.com. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  7. ^ Gaffer, The (2010-06-30). "David Villa's Goal for Spain Against Portugal Was Offside: 3D Video". Worldcupbuzz.com. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  8. ^ "Carvalho: Offside". Goal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  9. ^ "World Cup 2010: Argentina Coach Diego Maradona Claims 'Horrible' Refereeing Helped Spain Beat Portugal". chelseafc.com. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  10. ^ Lusitan (2010-06-29). "Reaction: "We could have gone further"". Portugoal.net. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  11. ^ "Villa was offside". iafrica.com. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  12. ^ Burke, Chris (27 June 2012). "Spain survive test of nerve to reach final". www.uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  13. ^ Ladyman, Ian (27 June 2012). "Portugal 0 Spain 0 (aet, 2-4 on pens): Fabregas hits winning spot-kick". www.dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  14. ^ Smith, Ben (27 June 2012). "Cesc Fabregas was the hero again as Spain kept alive their hopes of defending the European title with a dramatic shootout win in Dontesk". www.bbc.com. BBC. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Burke, Chris (27 June 2012). "Spain survive test of nerve to reach final". www.uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "Full-time report Portugal-Spain" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  17. ^ Jennings, Patrick (15 June 2018). "Cristiano Ronaldo produced one of the great World Cup performances as his dramatic late free-kick earned Portugal a draw with Spain in a classic encounter in Sochi". www.bbc.com. BBC. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  18. ^ "Portugal 3-3 Spain: Cristiano Ronaldo's first World Cup hat-trick secures draw". www.skysports.com. skysports. 15 June 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "Match report – Group B – Portugal-Spain" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.