Italy and Portugal have been drawn in the same section of the World Cup play-off draw. Meaning both teams cannot qualify for the tournament in Qatar next year.
European champions Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were drawn in the same World Cup qualifying playoffs bracket Friday, meaning at least one giant will MISS next year’s Qatar showdown.
Italy will face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semi-finals next year March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot in the World Cup.
Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup – losing in the playoffs for Sweden and now as things stand Azzuri’s have a big task ahead, likely to face Ronald’s Portugal to make a mark in the next year’s tournament. Portugal has always qualified during Ronaldo’s tenure. The world record-holder striker has played in nine consecutive major international tournaments, he first featured for Portugal in the 2004 EUROS and since then 36-year-old has never missed the any big moments.
Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of the bracket. Russia will host Robert Lewandowski’s Poland for the winner to face Sweden or Czech Republic in their final bracket as Russia or Poland will host the final.
The six playoff semi-finals will be played as single elimination games March 24, 2022 as the three finals will be played five days later.
The three final winners will complete Europe’s nations entry of 13 in the 32 team line-up in Qatar.
FIFA will make the tournament final draw on April 1 in Doha, Qatar.
The playoffs feature 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams that is Austria and Czech Republic who won Nations League Groups last year.