Prior to this shock on the final day of the League of Nations, the Portuguese took the lead in Group B thanks to their autocratic success in the Czech Republic (4-0), overpowering Spain, and the defeat at home to a shocked Switzerland (2-1). ).
With a two-point lead, Ronaldo and his teammates can therefore be content with a draw to watch the “Fourth Final” next June, while Spain must definitely win on Portuguese soil, as they have not been imposed on it since 2003.
The meeting will be opposed by two natural candidates for the final victory, because if the Seleção actually won this competition in 2019, during the first edition that organized its final stage in Portugal, Roja reached the final of the last edition (defeat 2-1). against France).
‘The best is yet to come’
But this Iberian derby is also the perfect opportunity for two of the best teams in world football to assess themselves in two months of the World Cup, which will take place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.
After a surprising setback in June against Switzerland (1-0), in the absence of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal regained their confidence against the Czech Republic.
So much so that coach Fernando Santos, who crowned Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League, dreams of completing his record by crowning the planet.
“I’m missing a title, the best is yet to come this year. Santos said.
Despite his new status as a substitute this season at Manchester United, Ronaldo for his part has notably returned to the selection. But his performance did not convince observers, and the Portuguese press on Monday analyzed the “loss of influence” on the national team’s statistics.
Sure enough, the 37-year-old idol caught a assist, but he also missed big chances, caused a penalty and received a blow to the nose, causing him to bleed a lot without forcing him to leave the field.
“Winning in Braga”
For its part, Spain is still in the reconstruction phase after the departure of the golden generation, which achieved an extraordinary treble between 2008 and 2012.
After Switzerland’s setback, their first in 11 months, Luis Enrique admitted Spain had had the “most chaotic first period” since taking over at La Roja in 2018.
“I don’t remember seeing such inaccurate players,” he insisted.
The trip to Portugal will test the generational renewal work he has done, marked by some encouraging results such as the 2021 Euro semi-final or the recent Nations League final.
“It is clear that it is better to approach the World Cup with a positive streak, but we will be prepared for whatever happens,” the 52-year-old coach emphasized.
“We will win in Braga. It would be great to go to the World Cup by beating Portugal. We have drawn three times against them, but now we are going there to win,” said the former FC Barcelona coach.