Blue against Blue on the world stage

The cosmopolitan nature of the Chelsea squad has seen a number of Blues team-mates playing on opposite sides at the World Cup.

More than a dozen Chelsea players are representing their countries at this year’s tournament in Russia and the final round of group games features three potential Blue vs Blue match-ups.

On 26 June, Andreas Christensen faces a huge test when Denmark take on a strong France side that includes N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud in Moscow, while Willy Caballero’s Argentina meet Victor Moses’ Nigeria in St Petersburg.

And on 28 June, the big Group G game in Kalingrad sees highly-fancied Belgium, featuring Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Michy Batshuayi, clashing with England, who have Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in their ranks.

To get you in the mood for those matches, here are some other occasions when Chelsea team-mates have met on the World Cup stage.

1998 - England v Romania
A hard-fought encounter in Toulouse between England and Romania was deadlocked at 1-1 in the final minute when Chelsea wing-backs Graeme Le Saux and Dan Petrescu chased a lofted pass into the England box. Petrescu won the race and shrugged off the challenge of Le Saux before squeezing the ball between the legs of goalkeeper David Seaman for the winning goal. Romania’s 2-1 victory saw them finish top of the group, a point ahead of England.

2002 – France v Denmark
Marcel Desailly and Jesper Gronkjaer scored for Chelsea in our famous 2-1 win over Liverpool in May 2003 but they were on opposing sides in Incheon 11 months earlier in a game which marked the end of France’s reign as world champions. Les Bleus had to win to stay in the tournament but the Danes won 2-0 with Gronkjaer setting up their second with a cross from the right which was rifled home by Jon Dahl Tomasson, who appeared to foul Desailly in the build-up to the goal.  

2006 – Argentina v Ivory Coast
Hernan Crespo and Didier Drogba were both on target for the Blues in a memorable 4-1 win over West Ham in April 2006. They scored again in the same match two month later although the strikers were on opposite sides when Argentina met Ivory Coast in Hamburg. Crespo pounced on a loose ball to open the scoring after 24 minutes as the Argentinians went two goals up. The Ivorians battled back after the break with captain Drogba pulling one goal back with eight minutes left but it was not enough to deny Argentina a 2-1 win.

2006 – Czech Republic v Ghana
The Czech Republic made an impressive run to the Euro 2004 semi-finals but didn’t even get past the group stage in the World Cup two years later after a 2-0 loss to Ghana in Cologne. Michael Essien proved influential for the Black Stars with a powerful performance in midfield which saw him named Man of the Match and Ghana would have won by a more comprehensive margin if not for Petr Cech, who made several fine saves to keep his team in the contest.

2006 – Portugal v Netherlands/England/France
Under future Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scorlari, Portugal reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2006 with Ricardo Carvalho playing every minute in a defence which conceded only two goals in six games. The centre-back helped frustrate Chelsea team-mate Arjen Robben in a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the round of 16 and England’s John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole in a penalty shootout victory in the quarter-finals. However, he couldn’t get the better of William Gallas and Claude Makelele in the semi-finals as France eliminated the Portuguese 1-0.

2010 – Portugal v Ivory Coast
Honours were shared when Portugal and the Ivory Coast kicked off their 2010 World Cup campaigns with a goalless draw in Port Elizabeth. Salomon Kalou started for the Ivorians and was later replaced by Didier Drogba, who was nursing an arm injury but the vibrant African side could not find the breakthrough against a solid Portuguese defence which included Ricardo Carvalho in the centre and Paulo Ferreira at right-back.

2014 – Brazil v Germany
A number of Chelsea players were involved in the World Cup semi-final clash between Germany and Brazil at Belo Horizonte but only one of them was smiling at the end of the game as the European side recorded a jaw-dropping 7-1 win over the host nation. Andre Schurrle came off the bench to score twice for the Germans while Oscar hit the long Brazilian reply on a miserable night for himself and his Selecao team-mates Ramires and Willian.