The Portuguese national football team will get to know the opponents in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup on Friday, with the comfort of avoiding the strongest opponents in the draw that takes place in Qatar, organizer of the tournament.
Despite having won the qualification in ‘extra time’, having been forced to play in the ‘play-offs’ of the European zone, Portugal integrates pot 1, destined for the seeds, in the draw starting at 19:00 (17:00 in Lisbon), in Doha.
The ‘quinas’ team will avoid, in addition to the host country of the World Cup, the six best ranked teams in the FIFA ranking: Brazil (champion in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), Belgium, France (1998 and 2018 ), Argentina (1978 and 1986), England (1966) and Spain (2010).
Portugal, Belgium and Qatar (whose presence in pot 1 comes solely from the fact that they organize the competition) are the only teams in pot 1 that have never lifted the trophy, but the Portuguese team may have to face one of the countries with the most titles, Germany , which is part of pot 2.
In addition to the Germans, champions in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014, the group of the second strongest teams includes Uruguay, winner in 1930 and 1950 and responsible for the elimination of Portugal in the 2018 World Cup (2-1 in the round of 16), Croatia, current runner-up, Netherlands, runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010, Switzerland, Denmark, United States and Mexico.
In pot 3, among the least ‘recommended’ are Poland, Serbia, which in November 2021 won 2-1 at Luz and ended up in front of the European qualifying group A, relegating Portugal to the ‘play-offs’, and Senegal, African champion in title.
More accessible seem to be South Korea, whose coach is Portuguese coach Paulo Bento, Iran, Japan, Morocco and Tunisia, while pot 4 is reserved for the five teams with the lowest ranking in the FIFA ranking and the winners of the three ‘play- offs’ yet to be decided.
Canada, Cameroon, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Ghana are already booked, being joined by the last winner of the European play-offs (Wales, Scotland or Ukraine), the clash between Asia (Australia or the United Arab Emirates) and South America (Peru) and between Oceania (New Zealand) and North and Central America (Costa Rica).
The 2-0 triumph achieved on Tuesday against North Macedonia, with two goals from midfielder Bruno Fernandes, in the final of path C of the European play-offs, earned the team led by coach Fernando Santos a place among the 29 selections with a place in the draw, to which three more will be added.
The 32 finalist teams for the 2022 World Cup will be divided into eight groups of four teams (designated by the letters A to H), consisting of a lineup from each pot based on today’s FIFA ranking, with Qatar being required to be included in the A group.
The remaining seven selections from pot 1 will be drawn in the first position of the remaining ‘poules’ and no group can have more than one representative from each continent, with the exception of Europe, which qualifies 13 teams and can have a maximum of two teams in the same grouping.
Portugal will participate for the eighth time in the World Cup (the sixth consecutive time, after the presences in 1966, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018), whose final phase of the 2022 edition will take place in Qatar, between November and December 18.
Qatar (organizing country)
Wales, Scotland or Ukraine
Australia, United Arab Emirates or Peru
New Zealand or Costa Rica
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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