DOHA: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will learn on Friday their opponents for what is nearly definitely their last World Cup finals when the draw is made for November’s match in Qatar.
The two largest names within the sport have collected a bunch of membership and particular person honours in addition to continental trophies with their international locations however neither has managed to crown his profession with the last word prize of World Cup glory.
Portuguese ahead Ronaldo, who’s 37, and Argentine Messi, 34, are set to function of their fifth World Cup finals – no participant has appeared in six.
The nearest Ronaldo got here to profitable the match was his first try in Germany in 2006 when Portugal misplaced within the semi-finals to France.
Messi’s Argentina have been runners-up in Brazil in 2014 the place they misplaced to Germany within the closing in Rio.
Neither participant has indicated whether or not he’ll strive to make a document sixth World Cup look or retire from worldwide soccer after this 12 months’s match however their ages counsel this could be their closing try.
Portugal and Argentina are anticipated to be among the many prime seeds, in pot one, that means they’ll keep away from a direct confrontation with one of many favourites within the four-team group stage.
Defending champions France and five-times World Cup winners Brazil are the bookmakers’ favourites, with England, semi-finalists 4 years in the past, additionally fancying their possibilities.
Although European champions Italy failed to qualify for the finals, the continent has loads of critical contenders with Belgium, Spain and Germany additionally within the body.
Twenty 9 of the 32 groups can be within the draw, with qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean concluding on Thursday.
Three slots will stay empty in Friday’s draw to be crammed by the 2 intercontinental playoff winners and the last European playoff winners – from the matches delayed by the struggle in Ukraine.
Scotland play Ukraine in June for the suitable to face Wales for the last spot.
Hosts Qatar have been put in Group A and the opposite locations can be drawn out of 4 pots primarily based on the FIFA rankings to be set on Thursday.
The international locations occupying positions 8-15 within the rating of the certified groups can be allotted to Pot 2, whereas the Sixteenth-Twenty third best-ranked qualifiers can be positioned in Pot 3.
Pot 4 will embrace the certified groups in positions 24 to 28, plus three placeholders.
The draw is designed to guarantee no group has a couple of workforce from the identical continental qualification zone aside from Europe. No group can have greater than two UEFA nations.
Source : channelnewsasia.com