One of football’s superstars will miss out on the World Cup next year after Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side were drawn against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden in the European playoffs for next year’s finals.
Portugal versus Sweden is the pick of the four playoffs, which will be played over two legs, while unseeded France will face a tough battle against Ukraine, whom England failed to beat in two qualifying matches.
The presence of stars such as Real Madrid’s Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Nani means Portugal will go into the playoffs as favourites but they struggled in what had looked a straightforward qualifying group, finishing runners-up to Russia.
Sweden gave a warning of their talents with a 4-4 draw against group winners Germany in qualifying.
As for France, they will have to go one better than England and beat Ukraine Roy Hodgson’s men drew 0-0 away from home and only managed a 1-1 draw at Wembley.