England will play EURO 2004 hosts Portugal in a warm-up fixture for the tournament on 18 February.
England will play EURO 2004 hosts Portugal in a warm-up fixture for the tournament on 18 February. The venue for the match is the new 30,000-capacity Algarve Stadium, inaugurated on 23 November last year.
The 20th international between the two countries could feature a midfield clash between Real Madrid team-mates David Beckham and Luis Figo, indisputably two of the world’s top players.
The series began with a friendly in Lisbon in 1947, when a rampant England team outclassed the home side 10-0. Legends Tommy Lawton and Stan Mortensen scored four goals each. Then it was Tom (now “Sir Tom”) Finney’s turn to notch four as we won 5-3, again in the Portuguese capital, three years later.
There were three more friendlies after that, including one at Goodison Park in 1951 in which Bill Nicholson, later Tottenham’s Double-winning manager, gave England the lead just 30 seconds into his debut as a right-half. We won that one 5-2 before a 52,000 crowd.
The first competitive matches were qualifiers for the 1962 World Cup to be held in Chile. After a 1-1 draw in the away leg in Lisbon, England triumphed 2-0 at Wembley five months later with Ray Pointer and John Connelly on target.
The famous Wembley meeting in the semi-finals of the ’66 World Cup was thought to be the best match, certainly the most sporting, of the whole competition. Bobby Charlton scored with two efforts from the edge of the box and the great Eusebio converted a penalty near the end. We were in the World Cup Final!
Both the European Championship qualifiers against the Portuguese in 1974-75 and failed to make it to the finals in Yugoslavia. We lost to a late goal in the opening fixture of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and went down 2-3 in the first match of EURO 2000 in Eindhoven after being 2-0 up in 18 minutes.
The most recent meeting between the two sides was the Villa Park friendly in September 2002. Alan Smith of Leeds United scored his first England goal in a 1-1 draw.
England’s complete record against Portugal is P19, W9, D7, L3.