The FIFA World Cup has given rise to many rivalries over the years as 32 of the best nations in world football gather every four years to fight it among themselves in hope of being crowned as the new world champions.
The 2022 World Cup is set to begin in Qatar on November 20 and end on December 18. With only a few weeks left before it starts, let’s take a look at the five most famous rivalries in World Cup history.
Argentina vs Brazil
The Argentina-Brazil rivalry is probably one of the most heated affairs in world football. The two South American teams usually leave it all on the line when they lock horns in World Cup competitions. The Battle of the Americas began in 1914 and since then some of the greatest players of all time like Diego Maradona and Pele have only enhanced the magnitude of this great rivalry.
Germany vs The Netherlands
The two European giants first met each other in the 1974 World Cup final. The Dutch side was heavy favourites in that game but the Germans overcame all odds and pulled off “The Mother of all Defeats” by beating the Netherlands by a narrow 2-1 scoreline. Since then, the matches between the two countries have often been quite competitive and heated in World Cup football.
England vs Scotland
It is the oldest football fixture in international football as the two sides first met way back in 1872 in Glasgow. The England-Scotland goes back centuries with the two countries having a bitter relationship when it comes to football.
Most Scotland fans now cheer for the team playing against England if they fail to make it through to the World Cup finals.
Japan vs South Korea
This rivalry is politically-charged due to the history behind the two nations. These two sides have been the most successful Asian countries in World Cup football. Hence, we can expect to see a hotly contested affair whenever they meet in World Cup competitions.
Spain vs Portugal
The Spain-Portugal rivalry has often been dubbed as the Iberian War. It is one of the oldest and most well-known rivalries in the world of football. The hostility between the two countries dates back to 1581 when Spain’s Philip II was named as the ruler of Portugal. There have been a lot of conflicts between the two European nations since then. Any Spain vs Portugal match is probably one of the most heated fixtures in World Cup football.