Cristiano Ronaldo after the qualifying game against Serbia, which sealed the playoff fate of the national team
PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP
European champions Italy and ex-European champions Portugal face a direct duel for qualification on the way to the 2022 World Cup.
This was the result of the draw for the European playoffs in Zurich.
The team of head coach Roberto Mancini and the team around superstar Cristiano Ronaldo both ended up in path C and would thus face each other after semi-final wins in a possible final.
One thing is certain: either Italy or Portugal will not be part of the Winter World Cup.
Italy will initially face North Macedonia in a home game, Portugal will face Turkey in front of their own fans.
In Path A, Scotland plays against Ukraine and Wales against Austria.
In Path B, Russia will initially face Poland and Robert Lewandowski.
Sweden receives the Czech Republic, superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended in the first leg.
A total of twelve nations play the three remaining European places for the final tournament in 2022 (November 21 to December 18).
The playoff games will take place on March 24th and 29th.
Defending champions France, Germany, Belgium, England, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Serbia, the Netherlands and Croatia had already qualified as group winners.
sak / dpa