COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (Sporting Alert) — Fifa 2014 World Cup host Brazil opens the tournament next summer against Croatia after both teams were drawn together in Group A on Friday.
The game will be on June 12 in Sao Paulo. Also in the Group are CONCACAF side Mexico and African team Cameroon.
Defending champions Spain will open the defense of their world title against the Netherlands, the two teams that contested the 2010 Final. The pair playing in Group B alongside Chile and Australia.
In fact, the European powerhouses will be opening the group against each other on June 13.
The United States have been drawn in a very difficult Group G, where they will have to face Cristiano Ronald and Portugal, along with Ghana and Germany.
“It’s a difficult group,” Alexi Lalas, former American defender said.
Meanwhile USA head coach and former Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann said: “I had a feeling in my stomach we’d get Germany. It’s one of the most difficult groups in the whole draw. Including having Portugal and Ronaldo, Ghana’s history with USA and of course Germany it couldn’t get more difficult or any bigger.
“But that’s what the World Cup is about and we’ll take it. Hopefully we’ll surprise some people there. We’re going to be prepared were going to be confident. Winning in Italy, getting a result in Russia will help us in our preparations.”
“Tough looking group for England but some exciting games to look forward to… Portugal-Germany and Spain-Holland in particular,” Real Madrid and Wales attack Gareth Bale tweeted after the drawing.
England manager Roy Hodgson said: “It’s a tough group no doubt about that. We’ve almost got two number one seeds in our group, with Italy and Uruguay.
“Our great advantage is being based in Rio – meaning that we’ve only got that one really long trip. I’m very positive, you just never know.
“You don’t win football matches on paper, you go out on each occasion 11v11. If you’re well prepared you’ve got a chance to win all three of the games.”
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero and Argentina get Nigeria, Iran and Bosinia-Herzegovina in Group F.
The easiest of the group draws on Friday seems to be Group E where France, Ecuador, Switzerland and Honduras will battle for knock spots.
Colombia, Ivory Coast, Greece and Nigeria are in Group C, while Group H has Belgium, South Korea, Algeria and Russia.
“Belgium, Algeria, Korea Republic, Russia,” Belgian and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said on Twitter. “Interesting but tricky because there is no hiding for us, next round is a must.”
Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Cote d’Ivoire, Japan
Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic