Ireland To Face Cristiano Ronaldo In 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
The World Cup, eh. There's nothing like it. Put 'Em Under Pressure, Keano in the last minute against Germany, Jack losing his rag on the touchline while dressed as a coach driver...they're some of the greatest memories we have as a sporting nation.
Well, the road to Qatar 2022 starts here, as the draw has been made for the Qualifiers that can see Stephen Kenny's men go all the way to the Middle East. Stop sniggering at the back. We can do this.
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First up, the bad news. Cristano Ronaldo will be coming to Dublin, as Portugal came out of Pot 1. So that's three points down before we start, though we might get a nice trip to Lisbon or Porto out of it if we're ever allowed out again. From Pot 2 came Serbia, which is not too bad: they just lost to Scotland for a place at the Euros and didn't look too great. Maybe, just maybe, we have a chance. Maybe.
We were Pot 3, and lower seeded than us were Luxembourg, who honest to God we have to be able to beat. Believe it or not, this is a golden period for football in Luxembourg, though they cannot possibly be better than Ireland. The final name out the hat/wee bucket thing they use in interminably UEFA draws was Azerbaijan - which, again, is a much harder tie than it looks.
Now, I know what you're thinking. We're shite. Well, that's true. We haven't scored a goal in six games and even then it was a last minute goal to scrape a draw with the behemoths of Bulgaria. Oh, and it was Shane Duffy heading in a corner, so hardly a triumph of attacking skill.
Well, I'm here to tell you that it gets better. It couldn't get much worse, given that we haven't scored in a million years. And it's darkest before dawn. Hope springs eternal. See, I've convinced myself!
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