Spain and Portugal drawn in same World Cup group

Friday December 1 2017

A member of Russia's Igor Moiseyev Ballet ensemble dances next to the FIFA World Cup trophy ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. PHOTO | ALEXANDER NEMENOV |

A member of Russia's Igor Moiseyev Ballet ensemble dances next to the Fifa World Cup trophy ahead of the 2018 Fifa World Cup tournament final draw at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on December 1, 2017. PHOTO | ALEXANDER NEMENOV |  AFP

By AFP
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MOSCOW

The 2010 World Cup winners Spain were placed in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo's European Champions Portugal in an exciting draw for the 2018 tournament in Russia on Friday.

Neymar's Brazil meanwhile will have to negotiate a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

Holders Germany will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they try to retain the title for the first time since Brazil in 1962.

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team which struggled to qualify will play European debutants Iceland as well as Croatia and Nigeria.

England must play Kevin de Bruyne's Belgium, surprise packages Panama and Tunisia after they were drawn together in the ceremony in the Kremlin.

Host nation Russia will face Saudi Arabia in the tournament-opening match on June 14 in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia's other 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 featuring Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

Spain's other opponents in a tough-looking Group B are Morocco and Iran.

WORLD CUP GROUPS

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan


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