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World Cup Qualifying Draw: Spain Land Italy In Group Stages

afc players world cupThe draw for the preliminary stages of the 2018 World Cup has been taken with France taking on Netherlands, Spain and Italy drawn in the same group and England finding themselves placed with Scotland.

Germany will start defending their World Cup title in a six-team UEFA pool where the Czech Republic seems the biggest barrier to advancing as group winners.

“I’m happy that we won’t play against France or Italy,” said former German international and current team official Oliver Bierhoff.

Italy, the 2006 world champions, paid the price for recent poor results by being drawn once again in qualifying with 2010 winner Spain in Saturday’s ceremony at Konstantin Palace.

“It will be very stimulating for our team,” Italy coach Antonio Conte said through a translator in St. Petersburg. “Spain is very strong.”

Spain ended Italy’s European Championship hopes in the 2008 and 2012 finals before they both embarrassingly exited the last World Cup in the group stage.

“The World Cup was a slight misadventure, the same as for us,” Conte said. “At the moment, they are constructing something new.”

Perhaps the toughest European group puts the Netherlands with France and Sweden, whose star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has perhaps his last chance to play again on football’s biggest stage.

“It’s not really easy to think after the draw, do we qualify for the next World Cup?” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “It won’t be very easy.”

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal got a more favourable draw with Switzerland their highest-ranked rival.

Group A:
Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

Group B
Portugal Switzerland Hungary Faroe Islands Latvia Andorra

Group C
Germany Czech Republic Northern Ireland Norway Azerbaijan San Marino

Group D
Wales Austria Serbia Republic of Ireland Moldova Georgia

Group E
Romania Denmark Poland Montenegro Armenia Kazakhstan

Group F
England Slovakia Scotland Slovenia Lithuania Malta

Group G
Spain Italy Albania Israel FYR Macedonia Liechtenstein

Group H
Belgium Bosnia-Herz Greece Estonia Cyprus

Group I
Croatia Iceland Ukraine Turkey Finland

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Raymond L. February 27, 2015, 5:11 am

    I have nothing against FIFA choosing Qatar as hosts of 2022 World Cup—it’ll certainly be historically significant being the first World Cup tournament to be held in the Middle East. However, did any of the FIFA officials thought about the temperatures there when they gave the country the privilege to host the planet’s biggest sporting event?

  • eric June 23, 2010, 12:48 pm

    Will see Germany today. Usa now had a strike of luck.

    I want Brazil to win, or argentina.

  • gewinnspiel June 8, 2010, 3:00 pm

    I think Spain will win the soccer World Champions title in South Africa. They are in a real good shape right now and won’t be stopped.

  • Jose January 6, 2010, 11:26 am

    Hi, boys, Brazil is not in a “dead group”. Please wait and see what happens to France when meeting Uruguay, jaja! You know little about football.

  • Victoriano June 24, 2009, 4:41 pm

    Busco entradas de la copa confederacion de futbol, de cualquier partido de 1ª fase, 2ª fase, semmif. y final, las quiero para coleccion, muchas gracias de anticipadas:
    Victoriano Gonzalez Hdez.

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