For the second time in a row, the Italian soccer team had to go through the European play-offs to reach the World Cup final.
But the scare will be too great for the fans of the Italian team (the Azzurri) if their team fails to reach the World Championship for the second consecutive edition through the play-off that begins tomorrow, Thursday.
Football fans in Europe, in particular, and in the world in general, are waiting for the games of this decisive play-off, which will topple at least one of the great and prestigious teams on the European continent and in the tournaments of the world Cup.
The play-off events are being contested this time in a different way than in the past, where the ten teams that came second from their groups in the European qualifiers qualified, and two teams joined them via the League. European of Nations.
The 12 teams were divided into three tracks, each with four teams competing in two semi-finals and one final, so that the winner in the final of each track would qualify for the final to complete the places on the European continent at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. . .
The draw for the European supplement resulted in the Scottish and Ukrainian teams falling together in the first court semi-finals, and this match was postponed at the request of Ukraine in view of the conditions of the currently ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war, while The Welsh and Austrian teams meet tomorrow in the other matchup in the same final on this track.
On the second lane, the Polish team was supposed to meet its Russian counterpart, but the International Gaming Federation recently excluded the Russian bear from the qualifiers due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Thus, the Polish team qualified for the final on this track, to meet next Tuesday with the winner of the other semifinal matchup on this track, which will bring together the teams from Sweden and the Czech Republic tomorrow.
On the third court, the Portuguese team will meet their Turkish counterpart, while the North Macedonia team will visit the Azzurri tomorrow.
The two matches on the third court attract the most attention, as this court will topple at least one of the Italian and Portuguese teams.
The Italian team failed to reach the final of the last edition of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Azzurri fell in the playoffs in 2017 against their Swedish counterpart, to miss the final for the first time after 14 consecutive appearances in the final since 1958.
Therefore, the Azzurri fans fear a new scare, especially since most of the nominations are aimed at an expected confrontation between the two champions of the last two editions of the European Cup of Nations, since the Azzurri won the title of Euro 2020 in mid-2021. while the Portuguese team won the title at Euro 2016 in France.
While the matchup with North Macedonia looks easy on paper, the Azzurri dread this game, especially as the North Macedonia team was one of the teams that contributed to the Azzurri’s absence from the 2018 World Cup, where the match of the two teams in Turin. They finished tied 1-1 after winning 3-2 against “La Azzurri” in the first match on the opposite field.
In the second match of the third court semi-finals, the Portuguese team relies heavily on their veteran attacking star, Cristiano Ronaldo, against the Turkish team, who lost all five of their previous official matches against Portugal, the last of which was in the Euro 2008.
The Portuguese team will play the matchup at home, but the Turkish team clings to the hope of facing the team led by Ronaldo, the team’s all-time goalscorer and the best international goalscorer of any player for his country, scoring 115 goals. surpassing the Iranian Ali Daei, previous record holder.
On the first court, the Scotland-Ukraine match has been postponed to next June, which means that the final on this court will also be postponed to the same month, while Wales and Austria meet tomorrow.
The Welsh team, which left a good mark at Euro 2016 and 2020, aspires to get through tomorrow’s game and strongly prepare for the final on this court, hoping to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
The Wales team relies a lot on their great player Gareth Bale, the former Real Madrid star, as well as on the team’s impressive record in the games they play at home, as they remained unbeaten in the last 16 games they played. at home, with the team’s last loss coming at home to the Danish national team in November 2018.
The Polish team awaits the qualified team for the other semi-final match on the second court, which brings together the teams of Sweden and the Czech Republic in Solna, which witnessed the victory of the Swedish team in the last nine games they played. In this city.