Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal could face Italy in the playoffs for a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro has singled out Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci as the key towards the national team’s hopes of stopping Cristiano Ronaldo, who ‘is not as agile as some years ago.’.
The defenders played alongside Ronaldo for three seasons at Juventus before the Portugal captain departed for Manchester United last summer.
The trio could now reunite for the first time in the European playoffs for the World Cup qualifiers, as Italy and Portugal are in the same bracket alongside North Macedonia and Turkey.
🥁 The semi-finals are set for the European play-offs!
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 26, 2021
What does Cannavaro think?
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Azzurri’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain said: “Italy have nothing to fear as we play as we know.
“Portugal are strong, but you need to beat anxiety in these games. Ronaldo would want to qualify for the World Cup, it’s the game he will live for.
“He keeps scoring goals, but Chiellini and Bonucci know his movements well and Cristiano is not as agile as he used to be some years ago and we could benefit from it.”