The contrasts do not run much deeper as Brazil, the most successful international side in history, take on the minnows of North Korea.
Brazil have won five World Cups, while North Korea are taking part for just the second time.
While in Portugal, coach Carlos Queiroz is confident Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to show what he is made of on the world stage.
Queiroz is confident he can carry that burden, but equally certain he will not have to do so alone.
Finally at Ivory Coast, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is still hoping Didier Drogba will be able to play in a cast against Portugal.