Moscow (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal arrived Saturday in Russia to begin final preparations for a World Cup campaign that pits them against arch-rivals Spain.
The European champions play their Iberian neighbours in the 2014 Winter Olympics host city Sochi in the opening match for both nations Friday.
The winner will be in pole position to come out on top in a Group B that also includes Morocco and Iran.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the last 16.
The Spaniards arrived at their own base in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar on Thursday.
Portugal are ranked fourth by FIFA and won nine of their 10 European qualifying group matches.
It will be the team’s seventh World Cup appearance and the 33-year-old Ronaldo’s fourth and likely last campaign.
Their best result saw them finish third in 1966.
Portugal are based next door to the Zhukosvky Airport where they landed on the southeastern outskirts of Moscow.