The two giants of international football failed to win their respective qualifying groups and now face the dreaded task of winning a play-off campaign – which Italy famously failed to do back in 2017.
Portugal and the Azzurri have been drawn in ‘path C’, with the former facing Turkey in their semi-final and Italy taking on North Macedonia.
The winner from those two games progresses to the final, a fixture in which the victor will secure a place at the 2022 World Cup out in Qatar.
So that means at least one of the two European giants will not make it to the biggest stage in sport…
Below, you’ll find the World Cup play-off draw in full.
2022 World Cup European play-off draw
Scotland vs Ukraine
Wales vs Austria
Russia vs Poland
Sweden vs Czech Republic
Italy vs North Macedonia
Portugal vs Turkey
All games are one-off and will take place between March 24th and 29th.
The European play-offs are going to be full of drama, that’s for sure.
And, of course, we have the mouthwatering prospect of Portugal vs Italy, an eliminator that is worthy of being the actual tournament’s finale.
For the first time in ages, we’re actually genuinely excited for the next international break.
Ronaldo potentially facing the unenviable task of trying to beat Italy to earn a final chance at winning the World Cup for Portugal? Sometimes, the story writes itself.