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‘Ronaldo knows he will suffer’ – Former Juventus teammate welcomes World Cup showdown

Leonardo Bonucci, Cristiano Ronaldo
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Italy and Portugal could meet in the play-off final for a spot in the 2022 World Cup.

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci welcomes the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the World Cup play-offs.

The 34-year-old played alongside Ronaldo at Juventus for three seasons, and he claims the Portugal captain ‘knows he will suffer blows’ if he crosses paths with Italy.

“I heard Cristiano Ronaldo, and we joked about the possible Portugal vs Italy match,” Bonucci told Rai Sport.

“We’ll see what happens on the pitch, Cristiano knows he will suffer some blows.”

Could Italy and Portugal meet?

The two European heavyweights’ hopes of reaching the 2022 World Cup rest on the outcome of the play-offs in March, having failed to win their respective groups in the qualifiers.

If Italy and Portugal can beat North Macedonia and Turkey respectively in the play-off semi-finals, they’ll meet in the final on March 29. Whoever wins, books a ticket to Qatar.

Bonucci added: “We have to concentrate on what we will do on the pitch, then in March we will meet again and I am convinced that we will play two great matches.”