The 2010 World Cup winners Spain have been positioned in the identical group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions Portugal in an thrilling draw for the 2018 event in Russia on Friday.
Neymar’s Brazil in the meantime should negotiate a gaggle together with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia as they search a sixth title.
Holders Germany will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they attempt to retain the title for the primary time since Brazil in 1962.
Lionel Messi and his Argentina staff which struggled to qualify will play European debutants Iceland in addition to a gifted Croatia staff and Nigeria.
In a star-studded ceremony within the Kremlin, England have been positioned with Kevin de Bruyne’s Belgium, shock packages Panama and Tunisia.
Host nation Russia will face Saudi Arabia within the event-opening match on June 14 within the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Russia’s different opponents in Group A are Uruguay, led by Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, and Egypt, spearheaded by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.
France and their potent strikeforce that includes Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.
Spain’s different opponents in a troublesome-wanting Group B are Morocco and Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in a speech on the draw ceremony that Russia had a “robust affection” for soccer.
“Our nation is wanting ahead to the championship and intends to carry it on the highest degree,” Putin stated. “I’m positive that the forthcoming World Cup will probably be an enormous issue within the improvement of the game each within the Russian areas and all through the entire world.”
Within the hours earlier than the draw, FIFA President Gianni Infantino denied that doping was an issue whilst Russia are at critical danger of being barred from the 2018 Winter Olympics for doping.
Infantino claimed that the extent of testing in soccer is adequate to point out that the sport is essentially clear.
“I do not assume there are lots of different worldwide sports activities organisations who’re doing as many anti-doping tests as soccer is doing,” Infantino informed a press convention.
“In case you would have a critical doping problem in soccer this might be recognized by now, whether or not in Russia or another nation of the world.”
Russia have been stripped of a 3rd of the medals they gained as hosts of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and final week a ban on the nation participating in worldwide athletics was upheld.
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