France, Spain bookStade de France date

France will welcome Spain to the Stade de Francefor an intriguing friendly on 28 March – a few days


after the teams play Luxembourg and Israel in

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying.

Les Bleus head Group A, three points clear of the

Netherlands and Spain. La Roja are first in Group

G, above Italy on goal difference and Israel by a

point.

The Stade de France was inaugurated in January

1998 with a friendly between France and Spain.

Zinedine Zidane netted the only goal after Andoni

Zubizarreta failed to hold a fizzing Youri Djorkaeff

strike, with now Bleu coach Didier Deschamps

facilitating it with a finely-executed pass. Six

months later Zidane headed two goals in the same

stadium as France downed Brazil 3-0 in the World

Cup Final.

Both teams have had periods of dominance in the

fixture. France went unbeaten in it between 1983

and 2000, winning six of eight. Spain won four and

drew one of five meetings between 2008 and ’13.

In the Brazil 2014 preliminaries, a last-gasp Olivier

Giroud equaliser earned France a point in Madrid,

but Pedro’s unanswered goal at the Stade de

France ultimately helped Spain finish top of Group

I and send their opponents into the playoffs, where

they overcame a 2-0 first-leg loss to edge

Ukraine.

The sides have met once in the World Cup. David

Villa fired Spain ahead from the spot in the Round

of 16 at Germany 2006, but goals from Franck

Ribery, Patrick Vieira and Zidane earned France a

3-1 success.

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