FIFA World Cup 2022 Draw: Spain set up iconic clash versus Germany in Group E; defending champions France in Group D

The draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center on Friday. While Spain started an appetizing clash with Germany in Group E, the defending champions France were placed in Group D. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal was drawn in Group H. Five-time winners Brazil were placed in Group G. Qatar, the hosts of the tournament, already took position A1 from pot 1 (placed in Group A), while the remaining teams were awarded pots based on their FIFA rankings, which were released on Thursday.

37 teams were involved in the World Cup draw as three entries in the 32-team line-up are not yet known and will not be confirmed until June when the European and intercontinental playoffs end. Places will be decided later this month. The opening match of the World Cup will be between hosts Qatar and Ecuador.

FIFA World Cup 2022 group

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland / Wales / Ukraine

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, UAE / Australia / Peru, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica / New Zealand, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

England will open against Iran in a first ever World Cup match between the countries. England and USA will meet in their second match. They drew 1-1 in their group in 2010 when both advanced.

England’s final match could be a derby against one of their neighbors, Wales or Scotland, or Ukraine – the three teams are in the playoffs in June.

The United States and Iran met earlier at the 1998 World Cup, where the Iranians won 2-1.

Group B teams should also start playing on November 21. It gives these teams fewer days to prepare for the World Cup but builds in more rest days if they go deep into the tournament.

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski – the holders of the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s best players in the world respectively – are about to meet when Argentina meets Poland in the final group stage.

Argentina opens against Saudi Arabia, and Poland starts against Mexico.

Defending champions France and Denmark were in the same group four years ago and both went on to the knockout stage. In 2018, they also met Peru and Australia in their group, so a reunion with three teams is also possible depending on the result of an intercontinental playoffs in June.

2010 champions Spain will face 2014 winners Germany in a tough group for Japan.

Costa Rica was a quarterfinalist in 2014 and went deeper then than Spain, but must first get past New Zealand in a playoff in June.

Belgium was a semi-finalist four years ago and Croatia was a finalist. Canada is an exciting and difficult alternative from the lowest ranked teams after topping their qualifying group before Mexico and the USA

Morocco gets a group of two tough Europeans for back-to-back tournaments. Last time it was Spain and Portugal.

Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia are quickly reunited after all being in the same group in 2018. Brazil opens against Serbia, who were beaten 2-0 four years ago.

Brazil should be among the last teams to start playing on November 24 – more time for the squad to prepare but a more congested 25-day program if it is to win a record-breaking title.

Cristiano Ronaldo is about to open his fifth straight World Cup final by facing Ghana.

The group reunites Luis Suarez and Uruguay with Ghana for the first time since their infamous quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup. The penalty was missed and Uruguay went on to win the penalty shootout.

Earlier in the 2010 knockout rounds, Suarez scored two goals as Uruguay also beat South Korea 2-1.

(with AP inputs)

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