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Match day preview for 27 June 2006

  • Match 55 - Dortmund - Brazil v. Ghana*

Brazil and Ghana's "A" teams have only met once before; on 27 March 1996, Brazil defeated Ghana 8-2 in a friendly match played in Rio Preto.

Brazil v. Ghana is a classic in FIFA youth competitions. On three occasions, they met in a youth competition final: FIFA U-20 World Cup 1993 in Sydney, Brazil won 2-1; FIFA U-17 World Cup 1995 in Guayaquil, Ghana won 3-2; FIFA U-17 World Cup 1997 in Cairo, Brazil won 2-1. They also met at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup Match 56

Brazil and Ghana also met at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-finals (Brazil won 4-2 on penalties, 2-2 AET), the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-finals (Ghana won 2-1) and the 1991 FIFA U-20 World Cup quarter-finals (Ghana won 2-1). At the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament, Brazil defeated Ghana 4-2 in quarter-finals.

Today's round-of-16 match marks the 19th FIFA World Cup™ game for Carlos Alberto Parreira as coach; he makes it to fourth place on the all-time ranking of number of FIFA World Cup™ matches as coach, one behind Zagallo and Milutinovic, and six behind Schoen.

Cafu and Ronaldo of Brazil are both close to breaking important FIFA World Cup™ records: Cafu currently shares the top spot with Matthaeus and Overath of Germany when it comes to most wins as a players (15). With his brace v. Japan, Ronaldo equalled Gerd Muller's record number of FIFA World Cup™ goals at 14.

Cafu could also become Brazil's most capped player at the FIFA World Cup™; he currently has 18 caps, the same as his countrymen Taffarel and Dunga.

Ghana are the third African newcomers to qualify for the second stage after Nigeria in 1994 and Senegal 2002.

Brazil already contested a round-of-16 match on this date; in 1998, they defeated Chile 4-1, Cesar Sampaio and Ronaldo scoring two goals each. In contrast, Brazil lost a quarter-final on this date: 2-4 v. Hungary in 1954.

Ratomir Djukovic is the second coach from Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia) to qualify for the second stage with an African team; Milutinovic also led Nigeria to the second stage in 1998

  • Match 56 - Hanover - Spain v. France*

Spain and France have met 27 times to date; Spain lead with 11 wins, six draws and ten defeats. Their first encounter was on 30 April 1922.

This match marks the first time that Spain and France meet at a FIFA World Cup™. Three of their previous head-to-heads were at European championships; on this day (27 June) in 1984, France won the EURO final in Paris, defeating Spain 2-0.

Spain won all three of their group matches this year, as was the case in 1950 and 2002.

In their match against Togo, France scored more than one goal in a FIFA World Cup™ match for the first time since the 1998 final when they defeated Brazil 3-0.

The encounter between Spain and France is the 700th FIFA World Cup™ match.

FIFA World Cup™ milestone matches

FIFA Communications Division

Berlin, 25 June 2006