The three paths for the European World Cup qualifiers to be played in March have been released. And to the dismay of many football fans across the world, Portugal and Italy have been drawn in the same path. This means that only one of them will be able to make it to Qatar in 2022.
Here are the draws that took place yesterday:
Semi-final 1: Scotland vs Ukraine
Semi-final 2: Wales vs Austria
Semi-final 3: Russia vs Poland
Semi-final 4: Sweden vs Czech Republic
Semi-final 5: Italy vs North Macedonia
Semi-final 6: Portugal vs Turkey
The current and former champions of Europe are the biggest countries in the qualifiers, by quite a margin. To have a World Cup without either would be difficult to imagine, but it seems like it will be a reality when the competition takes place next winter.
Only three of the 12 teams are going to qualify for the next round. Path A has Scotland, Ukraine, Wales and Austria all competing for a spot. And this path is the most well balanced of the lot.
Russia have been drawn against Poland, while Czech Republic face Sweden to determine the final bout of path B.
Portugal, and Cristiano Ronaldo fans will be hoping that Portugal make it to the tournament. A World Cup without the forward will be incomplete, but more importantly, it might be his last, at the age of 36.