Cristiano Ronaldo or Italy will not be in Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup


Cristiano Ronaldo or Italy will not be in the forthcoming Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup since Portugal could face Italy in a World Cup qualifier play-offs final.

The two countries have been paired in the same group which means that they will have to play each other if they both win their semi-final playoff games.

Based on the draw European football governing body, UEFA, released on Friday, November 26, Portugal will play against Turkey in the play-offs semi-finals. While Italy, the current champions of the European Championship will play North Macedonia in the semi-finals.

Any team that wins the round will meet in the final and the winner of the final will automatically qualify for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The interesting part is that both Italy and Portugal might not qualify for the World Cup if they both lose their semi-final games. But if they scale through the stage, they would have to knock themselves out in the final.

If They both meet in the final and Portugal succeed in knocking out Italy, that would make it the second consecutive time Italy failed to make it to a World Cup tournament.

Recall that the Italian team failed to qualify for the 2018 edition of the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. Hence, coach Roberto Mancini and his boys are condemned to make it this time around.

As for Portugal, the national team that won the 2016 edition of the European Championship are condemned to beat Turkey and then Italy or North Macedonia to reach Qatar 2022. If they fail to do that, Cristiano Ronaldo would miss the opportunity of making his 6th FIFA World Cup appearance.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal.
File photo of Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal.

Most importantly, the 36-year-old Manchester United forward might not have the opportunity of playing in another World Cup if he fails to make it to next year’s edition of the tournament.

This is so because Cristiano Ronaldo will be 41-year-old before the next edition of the World Cup which is in 2026.

The advantage Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal have is that they will play the final of the playoffs in Portugal which means that they will have their supporters behind them if they make it to the final.

The semi-finals and finals of the playoffs will be a one-legged affair. All the playoffs rounds are scheduled to take place between 24 and 29 March 2022.

Italy’s coach, Roberto Mancini, said: “It’s a very difficult draw for us. North Macedonia is a very good team, and if we win we have to play away.

“It could have been a little better, for sure. We are confident and positive, especially in the more difficult moments.

“As we would have gladly avoided Portugal, probably they too would have avoided us. We will have to play a great match against North Macedonia, then we will see in the final.”

Below is the Full semi-final draw

Scotland v Ukraine

Wales v Austria

Russia v Poland

Sweden v Czech Republic

Portugal v Turkey

Italy v North Macedonia

Below is the final draw

Wales or Austria v Scotland or Ukraine

Russia v Poland v Sweden or the Czech Republic

Portugal or Turkey v Italy or North Macedonia


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