Belfast Telegraph

Portugal manager Queiroz expecting "great game" against Spain

Carlos Queiroz is anticipating a "mouth-watering" exhibition of beautiful football and cultural rivalry when his Portugal side face Spain in tomorrow's last-16 Iberian derby.

Queiroz's Portugal meet the European champions in a highly-anticipated World Cup knockout clash at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town tomorrow evening.

Spain are revered for their footballing philosophy based on the 'tiki-taka' passing play of Barcelona, but Portugal have won plaudits too, not least for a 7-0 thrashing of North Korea in the group stage.

Queiroz has warned his side they must forget such previous performances and move on to a new level.

"This is going to be extremely difficult," he said. "Spain and Portugal play a style of football that, although somewhat similar, there are a number of differences between the two teams.

"I believe it's going to be a great game of football, a game with a lot of creativity, imagination, speed and great moves. At this stage, the round of 16, I expect a great show of football."

Queiroz believes the historic nature of the clash between two sides will only add extra spice.

"It is a regional rivalry between the teams and it is also a social, cultural and historical rivalry between two nations," he said.

"Therefore the game between Portugal and Spain is always a mouth-watering game, I'm sure of that. Just like 'derbies' between, say, England and Germany."

While respectful of Spain's threat, the former Real Madrid coach will ask his side to maintain their attacking ethos.

"We want to win this game from the very first minute," he added. "We don't know whether the duration of the game will be 90 minutes, 120 minutes or a penalty shoot-out. When you play a game of this nature, all that counts is that we move forward and score.

"My philosophy is that in a game of this nature, as a coach you have to take some risks.

"Our passes have to be decisive if we want to defeat Spain. We have to defend well, attack well and a Portuguese team always has to be on the attack."

He continued: "Spain has a great team, a very balanced team with great tradition and fantastic results.

"They are European champions but they are 11 players, just like us, and I expect it to be a great match. Our chances of progressing are as good as theirs.

"They have a good team but we also have a good team with first-class players at our disposal."

Danny is unlikely to keep his place in the Portugal side due to an injury suffered in the final group game against Brazil, but playmaker Deco should return from a hip problem.

Belfast Telegraph


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