Group B: ‘The Group of the Iberian Peninsula’


It would take a minor miracle for Iberian neighbours Spain and Portugal not to make it out of Group B.

The two world powers meet in the first of the group B games, with Spain winning 1-0 the last time they met in World Cup competition, at the 2010 tournament.

Defensive-minded Iran probably won’t offer much resistance, but Morocco is definitely capable of springing an upset.


How qualified: Won AFC Group A

Population: 82 million

Team nickname: Team Melli (‘The National Team’)

Best World Cup finish: Group stage (5 times)

Coach: Carlos Queiroz (POR)

You might know: Mehdi Teremi (Al Gharafa, Qatar)

Odds: $501

The good: Shouldn’t let in many goals.

The bad: Won’t score many goals.


How qualified: Won CAF Group C

Population: 34 million

Team nickname: Lions of the Atlas

Best World Cup finish: Round of 16 (1986)

Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)

You might know: Mehdi Benatia (Juventus)

Odds: $326 (Subject to change)

The good: Five Dutch-born players have committed to the cause.

The bad: Will they be intimidated by Portugal and Spain?


How qualified: Won UEFA Group B

Population: 10.8 million

Team nickname: A Selacao das Quinas (‘Selection of shields’)

Best World Cup finish: 3rd place (1966)

Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)

You might know: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Odds: $23

The good: Cristiano Ronaldo.

The bad: Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair.


How qualified: Won UEFA Group G

Population: 49 million

Team nickname: La Furia Roja (‘The Red Fury’)

Best World Cup performance: Winner (2010)

Coach: Julen Lopetegui (ESP)

You might know: David DeGea (Manchester United)

Odds: $6.50

The good: So much talent.

The bad: Unfortunately that talent includes Sergio Ramos.

Two to advance:

-Spain (group winners)

-Portugal (very close second)


What do you think?