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Mbappe wants Italy to beat Portugal in the World Cup play-off

31 Dec 2021 | 05:34 | Football

Striker Kylian Mbappe wants Italy to win tickets to the 2022 World Cup, instead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, when these two teams share the European play-off arm.

Portugal and Italy share the third bracket with Turkey and North Macedonia, choosing only one team to attend the 2022 World Cup. In the first round, Portugal played the away team Turkey, while Italy hosted North Macedonia on 24/24. March 2022. The winning team between these two matches will fight for a place in the World Cup five days later, while the losing team will be eliminated.

In the event that Portugal and Italy both win, they will have to eliminate each other in a life and death match for the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates will have the advantage of playing at home against Italy in that case.

When asked by reporter La Gazzetta dello Sport about the choice between Italy and Portugal for a ticket to Qatar at the end of 2022, Mbappe replied: “It would be better if I didn’t choose between the two teams. But the emotional side prevailed, and I would choose Italy.First reason, Italy didn’t attend the 2018 World Cup. The second reason was that Marco Verratti – my close teammate at PSG – had only played the World Cup once, in 2014, when he was still a teenager. young and not yet the top player that he is. Verratti deserved to go to the World Cup at the peak of his career, but if Portugal made it through the play-offs it would mean they’re better off, and there will be no reason to complain. Ronaldo will leave his mark.”
In the play-off round of the World Cup 2022 – Europe area, the first branch includes Scotland, Ukraine, Wales and Austria. Scotland will host Ukraine, and Austria will host Wales on the field. In the other bracket, Russia meets Poland, and Sweden meets the Czech away team. Fans will see the match between Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, if Poland and Sweden both win in the first leg.

Verratti is not Mbappe’s only Italian teammate at PSG. Gianluigi Donnarumma went to Paris in the summer of 2021, but admitted to having many difficulties because of competing for the main spot with senior Keylor Navas.

“Donnarumma has integrated very well,” Mbappe said of his new team-mate. “He is having a new experience, because PSG also have another top goalkeeper in Navas. This may not be an easy situation for Donnarumma, but it is good for PSG to have two excellent goalkeepers. Donnarumma is the present. the club’s present and future. I have been fortunate enough to play alongside Gigi Buffon, who has made history. If he continues to work hard, Donnarumma can do the same.”

Mbappe also revealed about the future, when he confirmed he would not join Real in January 2022. Mbappe’s contract with PSG will expire in the summer of 2022. The French striker refused to renew, putting pressure to go to Real last transfer window, but was not approved by PSG.

“The most important thing is to focus on football, that’s what I did in the second half of 2021,” Mbappe insisted. “That’s the most important thing, everyone knows I’m a top player. So I have to perform on the pitch. What happens on the outside doesn’t matter. We will have to decide the future. future as time goes on, but that’s not a priority right now.”
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