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How Can Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal Qualify For FIFA World Cup Via European Play-offs?

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar after losing to Serbia on Monday, Nov 15, in the World Cup Qualifier match.

Cristiano Ronaldo

(Image: AP)


With Serbia's 1-2 victory over Portugal on Monday, November 15, legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead Portugal into an automatic qualification for next year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in front of a jam-packed home crowd at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Portugal still stands a chance to play in the pinnacle event of global football by locking horns with 11 other teams in the European play-offs that will be played next year in March.

During Portugal vs Serbia match, Portugal needed only a draw to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, however, they found themselves out of contention as Serbia shocked the Portuguese side by a margin of 1-2 and became the latest team to qualify for the tournament. 

How can Portugal qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 through the European qualifiers?

In order to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup, Portugal will have to win two consecutive matches during the playoffs much like playing a semi-final and final fixture. If the teams fail to win any of the matches, they will see an end to their dream of playing in the coveted tournament. Portugal will be against nine other European qualifiers, group runners-up alongside two group winners from the UEFA Nations League in the European play-offs. The 12 teams will fight for the FIFA World Cup 2022 spots in three four-team brackets. The teams to have qualified for the playoffs so far are- Scotland, Wales, Poland, Portugal, North Macedonia, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic.

Which teams have qualified so far for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022?

Portugal has played in every world cup since 2002 and will be hopeful for qualification this time too. At the same time, if Portugal finishes at the top-off the playoffs points table, Cristiano Ronaldo will play in his fifth world cup, having played in every world cup since 2006. Along with the hosts Qatar, Germany became the first nation to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, followed by Denmark. Brazil is the only South American country that has qualified and was joined by Belgium and France from Europe. Meanwhile, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland became the latest team to qualify for the global event in Qatar.

Image: AP

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