MOSCOW – Friday’s draw at the Kremlin for the 2018 FIFA World Cup landed defending champion Germany in a group with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, while Spain will face Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
Brazil finds itself with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
German soccer federation president Reinhard Grindel said he was excited about the results of the draw.
“It’s an interesting group with exciting matches for our team. Preparation for our first three opponents begins now for (coach Joaquin) Löw and his team,” Grindel said.
“Our aim is to lay the foundations for our FIFA World Cup title defense,” Löw said.
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, meanwhile, highlighted the difficult group the 2010 World Cup champions face.
“It is a complicated, difficult and tough group – Portugal is a great team and won a little while ago,” Lopetegui said referring to the Portuguese triumph in EURO 2016.
“Morocco qualified for the World Cup eliminating Côte d’Ivoire, it is a consolidated team. Iran did not concede any goals during the qualifiers,” the Spanish coach added.
The 2018 World Cup will open June 14 with a match between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was on hand Friday to welcome participants to the draw.
“Our country is eager for the World Cup to start and intends to make it an event of the highest quality, where leading world football players will be able to show their mastery of the game,” he said.
Putin also invited soccer fans from around the world to come to Russia for the competition.
“The whole country loves football, with a number of Russian players being written in the history of world football. The 2018 FIFA Cup will unite the international sports family and its values,” he said.
Putin met before the draw soccer legends such as Diego Maradona, Carles Puyol and Fabio Cannavaro.Group A:
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay.Group B:
Portugal, Spain, Morocco, IranGroup C:
France, Australia, Peru, DenmarkGroup D:
Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, NigeriaGroup E:
Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, SerbiaGroup F:
Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South KoreaGroup G:
Belgium, Panama, England, TunisiaGroup H:
Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan