Ronaldo 'will suffer' if Portugal face Italy in World Cup play-off - Bonucci

22:24 EAT 26/12/2021
Leonardo Bonucci Juventus 2021-22
The centre-back would cherish facing his former Juventus team-mate with a place in Qatar at stake

Leonardo Bonucci has said former Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo "will suffer" if Portugal face Italy in the World Cup play-off.

The centre-back first needs the Azzurri to take care of North Macedonia, and Portugal to dispatch Turkey, in order to set up a high-profile match against Ronaldo.

It's guaranteed that at least one of Italy and Portugal will miss out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

What has been said?

"I [spoke with] Cristiano Ronaldo and we joked about the possible Portugal vs Italy match, we'll see what happens on the pitch, Cristiano knows he will suffer some blows," Bonucci told RAI Sport.

"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."

Bigger picture

Italy and Portugal are sorely disappointed to be in this position, with both sides having expected more than being forced to participate in the play-off.

The Azzurri in particular are a shocking inclusion after winning Euro 2020 amid an apparent resurgence under Roberto Mancini.

While it may be presumptuous to say Italy will meet Portugal, the nations will be favoured against North Macedonia and Turkey, respectively.

Further reading