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Italy vs Portugal combined XI revealed ahead of World Cup qualifying play-off with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorginho

The US Sun
The US Sun
 2021-11-26
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ITALY and Portugal suffered a nightmare World Cup 2020 Play-Off draw and now look set to face each other in a shoot-out for Qatar.

The Euro 2020 winners and Cristiano Ronaldo's nation both finished second in their qualifying groups, behind Switzerland and Serbia respectively.

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Cristiano Ronaldo may miss out on next year's World Cup with Portugal potentially facing Italy in a World Cup play-off Credit: AP
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Who would you change out of this combined XI? Credit: The Sun

Italy now face a home clash with North Macedonia in the Play-Off first round in March.

Turkey will visit Portugal, before the winners of both of those one-legged ties battle it out for a spot at next year's World Cup.

Even if one of the two powerhouses falls at the first hurdle, the draw still means that at least one of the last two European Championship winners will not be at the World Cup.

Italy suffered Play-Off heartbreak four years ago when they lost to Sweden and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Meanwhile, Portugal have featured at every major championship since missing out on the 1998 World Cup in France.

Whatever happens, one of the star-studded squads will miss out - and that also means a host of big names will too.

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But imagine if the two nations could combine their talents… then we reckon we could just about have a side that would topple all before them.

Italian star Gianluigi Donnarumma was a hero at Euro 2020 and the Paris Saint-Germain stopper would be in goal here.

With a flat back four, Man City’s Portuguese duo of right-back Joao Cancelo and centre-half Ruben Dias would be hard to leave out.

They would be joined by legendary Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci and Chelsea left-back Emerson.

Italian pair Jorginho and Manuel Locatelli would offer them protection in midfield, while Manchester United’s Portuguese maestro Bruno Fernandes would help provide the firepower for the three-pronged attack.

Despite being 36, it is almost impossible to leave out Cristiano Ronaldo as central striker.

And we’d have the Portuguese legend’s countryman Bernardo Silva supporting him on one side with Federico Chiesa on the other.

There are plenty of options to choose from - it’s just unfortunate that we will not get to see all of these talents on the world stage in the Middle East next year.

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