Italy and Juventus defender, Leonardo Bonucci has warned former Bianconeri team-mate, Cristiano Ronaldo that the striker could be in for some physical punishment if their two countries meet in play-off final for the upcoming 2022 World Cup.
Neither Italy or Portugal managed to qualify for the World Cup at the first time of asking so Ronaldo and Co face Turkey in the semi-finals with Roberto Mancini's men taking on North Macedonia. Both the teams are expected to qualify for the final and meet with a place in next year's Qatar World Cup on the line.
Bonucci for his part has sent a warning to Ronaldo, revealing that his former team-mate should expect some physical pain if the two sides face-off as expected.
"I heard Cristiano Ronaldo and we joked about the possible Portugal vs Italy match, we'll see what happens on the pitch, Cristiano knows he will suffer some blows. We have to concentrate on what we will do on the pitch, then in March we will meet again and I am convinced that we will play two great matches," he told Rai Sport, as quoted by Dailymail.
This is not the first time that the 34-year-old has taken a dig at the five-time Ballon d'Or award winner as he stated that Juventus had lost the characteristic of being a team with the presence of the striker in the squad and that the club are rediscovering their "humility" following Ronaldo's departure to Manchester United in the summer.