Cape Town: A classic encounter between Spain and Portugal is set to blaze the Cape Town atmosphere on fire when the teams clash in the round of 16 for quarter-final spot.
Both Spain and Portugal have been considered as favorites to win the World Cup. Standing second and third respectively in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, the eagerly anticipated encounter between the Iberian duo at the Green Point Stadium will be the sides" first meeting at world football"s top table.
Vicente del Bosque"s team came into this World Cup being tagged as the firm favorites to make it all the way till the finals but an upset defeat in the hands of the Swiss team in the opener had put them in the back-foot. Anyhow, the team has managed to come back strongly after that loss by winning both their remaining games and finishing on top of the group. Bosque and his side will be missing the services of their key midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender Raul Albiol.
Portugal on the other side finished second in a tough group which included five time world champions Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea.
They played out a goalless opening game against Dorgba's side, while cut loose hard on the North Koreans, smacking 7 goals against them and ending the group stages with a goalless draw with the Samba boys.
Ronaldo Vs Villa
Ronaldo will be the man to watch out for with his blistering run and long rangers, he will be the key-man for the Portuguese side. Though he has scored just scored 1 goal until now in South Africa, he has been a mass contributor for his team claiming the Budweiser Man of the Match award in each of his side"s three matches.
Villa who has been lethal with his finishing and who has scored 3 goals for Spain coming into the match will be danger man for the Portuguese defense. He is one player with an ability to get into right positions at the right time, and always tends to come up with good scoring opportunities.
Besides Villa for Spain, Torres who has been out of form and match practice, will be the man to watch out for his ability to make quick moves in the penalty area and convert them into goals.