COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (Reuters) – Host nation Brazil will kick off next year’s soccer World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12 and the favourites will be happy with a Group A also containing Mexico and Cameroon as they seek their sixth title.
Friday’s complicated draw procedure went off smoothly as holders Spain and 2010 runners-up Netherlands were put together in the group stages, but have a tough task with Chile and Australia alongside them in Group B.
England, Italy and Uruguay, all former winners, were put together, along with Costa Rica, in Group D, with England facing Italy in the jungle city of Manaus in their first game.
Germany will come face to face with their former striker and coach Juergen Klinsmann, now in charge of the United States, with Portugal and Ghana completing the Group G lineup.
Germany will come face-to-face with their former striker and coach Juergen Klinsmann, now in charge of the United States, with Portugal and Ghana completing the Group G lineup.
“Of course, a special moment for me to play against Germany but we beat them in a friendly this year and once you get on the pitch they are the just the opponent,” said Klinsmann, who won the World Cup as a player in 1990.
France, who qualified via the playoffs, will be pleased with a Group E placing alongside Ecuador, Switzerland and Honduras.
Bosnia, the only one of the 32 teams taking part in their first World Cup finals, face Argentina, Iran and Nigeria.
The final is in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.