Unlikely as it seems, age-old European rivals Spain and France have never crossed swords before at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. All that will change on 1 September at the Jeju FIFA World Cup Stadium, where the prize on offer - a place in the semi-finals - means it has all the makings of an unforgettable encounter.
While Spain have had the smoother passage into the quarter-finals, that does not make them automatic favourites to hold sway against their northern neighbours. The pair know each other so well that there is unlikely to be any surprises in Jeju. The last time the two sides met, in a UEFA U-17 European Championship tie in April, the Iberians ran out 2-0 winners, but even so, no one from either camp was venturing a prediction in the run up to their latest encounter.
As for the match itself, Spain are unlikely to vary their hitherto successful tactic of dominating through possession football, while France, in contrast, can be expected to favour a physical game with the emphasis on a direct, high-tempo style. What the teams do have in common, however, is a clinical centre forward with designs on the tournament top-scorer award. For the Spanish it is Bojan (4 goals) and for the French Damien Le Tallec (3), and their contributions could well prove decisive.
Neither side have players injured or suspended, leaving Juan Santisteban and Francois Blaquart will full squads to choose from.
Despite having faced each other at this level on several occasions in European Championships, this will be the first meeting between the sides at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. That said, France, with two previous appearances in this competition to Spain's six, have the advantage of actually having won the U-17 world title (Trinidad and Tobago 2001), a feat achieved by no other European country to date.
"They are two very good teams with very little between them. They have an advantage in terms of physique, but, as regards technique, we have the upper hand. It's impossible to predict the result because we know each other so well. The game could go either way." Juan Santisteban,Spaincoach
"They beat us at the European Championship, but we hope to get our revenge here at the World Cup. It's going to be an even game, and I don't expect either side to win by a comfortable margin. It's sure to be very tight, with the winner being the side that commits the fewest mistakes." Francois Blaquart,Francecoach