Football this week: we take a look at this week’s top stories

It’s been a busy week in the world of football. Many countries have been involved in World Cup qualifiers, others have been playing friendlies while some players have taken breaks.

Just like every other week of football, this week has not disappointed. It has been a week filled with a lot of banter, rejoicing, heartbreak and rumors.

In this article, we’ll be giving you a brief of some of the major talking points in the world of football.

What has been happening in the world of football this week

Italy fail to qualify for the World Cup yet again

There is no better place to start other than the World Cup qualifiers. The World Cup qualifiers had absolutely everything from drama to heartbreak and the biggest headline from the qualifiers was Italy’s shocking defeat at the hands of North Macedonia.

Italy did all the playing but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. In fact, Italy managed 32 shots in that game with only five of those being on target.

It took until the 92nd minute for a goal to be scored in the match and to the surprise of the whole world it was North Macedonia who got the goal and sent Italy crashing out in the semis of the World Cup qualifiers.

Italy have now failed to qualify for the last two World Cups and they’ve not featured in a knock-out at a World Cup since 2006. It was a really sad night for the European Champions.

Ronaldo and Portugal book a place in Qatar
football this week: Ronaldo and Portugal book spot in Qatar

While one European giant went crashing out, another booked a place in the World Cup.

Ronaldo and Portugal went about their business in a professional manner, beating Turkey and North Macedonia to earn themselves a spot in the World Cup.

Portugal put three past Turkey in the semis, with Otavio, Diogo Jota and Nunes getting their names on the score sheet.

Bruno Fernandes ran the show as Portugal beat North Macedonia 2-0 to secure a spot in Qatar.

Mo Salah and Riyad Mahrez fail to qualify for the World Cup as Egpyt and Algeria are knoncked-out
football this week: Salah and Egpyt fail to qualify for World Cup

Mo Salah suffered yet another painful defeat at the hands of Senegal as Senegal got a spot in the World Cup.

It was a bit of a cagey match with both teams canceling each other out for 220 minutes. The match was played over two legs, one in Egypt and one in Senegal.

Egypt won the first leg 1-0 which was played in front of their own fans, and Senegal equalized and took the game to penalties where they beat Egypt 3-1.

Mo Salah was amongst the players who missed their penalty, sending his over the bar.

The Senegalese fans did have a major role to play in the penalty shoot-out as they pointed lasers at the faces of the Egyptian penalty takers as well as their goalkeeper.

It was yet another disappointing outing for Algeria as they failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Algeria faced Cameroon in their World Cup qualifiers and lost (2-2 on aggergate) as Cameroon won through away goals.

It has not been the best year for Algeria as they were eliminated in the group stages of AFCON and have now failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The defeat left the Algerian head coach devastated as he burst into tears after Toko Ekambi’s late strike ended Algeria’s World Cup hopes.

Ghana and Morocco also have a place in Qatar. Ghana beat Nigeria on away goals and Morocco beat DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate to secure a spot in the World Cup.

Canada, Mexico and USA secure a place in Qatar

Canada, Mexico and the USA have also secured their places in this year’s World Cup.

Canada will be appearing in a World Cup tournament for the first time in 36 years.

This incredible achievement left Bayern’s and Canadian left-back Alphonso Boyle Davies really emotional. Here’s how he reacted to Canada qualifying for the World Cup.

Gareth Bale silences critics with an incredible World Cup Qualifiers performance

Gareth Bale, who has only made five appearances for Real Madrid this season and has received criticism for his performances for Real Madrid, ran the show as Wales beat Austria 2-1.

Scoring two goals with one of them being a lovely free-kick that was sent right into the top corner.

The performance Gareth Bale put up that night got fans singing praises to his name all through and it was a complete performance that has silenced his critics in the Spanish media.

FIFA releases updated country rankings

FIFA have released new rankings for countries around the globe. Brazil have now taken first spot from Belgium as Belgium drop to second and France to third, Argentina move to fourth after their Copa America win last summer and England complete the top five.

With that, we’d be ending football this week. Hope you enjoyed our weekly round-off of the week’s hottest news and headlines.