The Portuguese national soccer team played its first international game against Spain. The team's biggest wins so far have been against Liechtenstein, twice, and Kuwait, once. The scoreline for each of these encounters was 8-0. Since 1966, Portugal have played in six FIFA World Cups and the best performance has been a third place finish at soccer’s showpiece event. Portugal have also appeared in the UEFA European Championships on six occasions since 1984 and finished as the runners-up in 2004. The former World Cup semi–finalists have also seen some of the most famous players in international soccer, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Peyroteo, Eusebio, Jose Aguas, Mario Coluna, Paulo Futre, Rui Costa, Fernando Chalana, Luis Figo and Deco play for them.
Portugal qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, marking its most successful decade to date. Since the turn of the century, Portugal have qualified for every FIFA World Cup in 2002, 2006 2010. Portugal also took part in Euro 2000, Euro 2004, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. They were runners-up in 2004 while made it to the semifinals on two occasions in 2000 and 2012. In the 2010 World Cup, Portugal were in Group G alongside North Korea, Brazil and Cote d'Ivoire. They defeated the Asian side 7–0 and had goalless draws with both Brazil and Cote d'Ivoire. The tournament also marked the last time that the likes of Tiago, Simao, Miguel and Paulo Ferreira played international soccer, retiring soon after the tournament finished.
In 2010, Paulo Bento joined Portugal as the head coach and his first major international assignment was Euro 2012. They were put in a very tough Group B next to Denmark, Netherlands and Germany. They lost to Germany 1–0, but followed that up by beating Denmark 3-2 in their next game. In the next encounter, they came up against the Netherlands. Portugal won 2-1 to advance to the next round and eventually reach the semifinals where they were beaten by eventual champions Spain in a penalty shootout. The Portuguese qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cups after defeating Sweden 4–2 in the playoffs to land a spot in Group G alongside Germany, the US and Ghana. The team will then switch its focus to qualification for Euro 2016. At this upcoming exhibition game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, they will face the Ireland national soccer team, nicknamed The Boys in Green.
Ireland's head coach is Martin O'Neill with Robbie Keane as the captain. Keane holds the record for the most caps in Ireland’s history is also their leading goalscorer of all time with sixty two goals to his name. The Irish play their home games at the Aviva Stadium and their first international match was against Bulgaria, which they won 1–0. Ireland’s biggest win so far has been against Malta, which it defeated 8–0. The Irish have played in three FIFA World Cups since 1990 and reached the quarterfinals once. They have also played in two European Championships. Portugal will go into this game as heavy favorites and will be expected to come out on top. It certainly won’t be easy as Ireland have always been tough to beat. It will be an intriguing encounter and you can book your Exhibition Portugal tickets to watch these two famous European countries go head to head.