Morocco's Benatia looking forward to Fifa World Cup games

04 December, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • Neymar, Thomas Muller, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard

The coaches of the 2018 World Cup favourites welcomed a draw that keeps majority apart in the group phase - with the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and 2010 winners Spain.

Spain's clash with reigning European champions Portugal in Sochi on June 15 was an early highlight thrown up by the glitzy draw in the Kremlin.

"I think it's wonderful to be able to play against such strong countries as Spain and Portugal".

Team Melli, headed by Carlos Queiroz, will be participating in the World Cup for the fifth time but the team have never gotten past the group stage.

Switzerland, who defeated Northern Ireland in their play-off to progress to the Finals, will form part of a tight race for second place in Group E with Costa Rica and Serbia, behind natural favourites Brazil.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos says his team has a hard task ahead since they have been drawn in a deceptive and treacherous group.

Iceland - one of the two newcomers at the World Cup along with Panama - is the smallest ever nation to qualify for the World Cup with a population of about 335,000. The Iranians fans deserve a special World Cup preparation. "Spain is naturally favorite, as I've always said".

Russian Federation will play Saudi Arabia in the opening game of next year's World Cup, a match between the lowest ranked teams in the FIFA rankings.


Renard added that his team is going to play its matches in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

They'll face off June 15 in their opening game, and the victor likely will go on to win the group and set the stage for progression deep into the knockout phase and perhaps all the way to the final.

Mutko was the Minister of Sport between 2008 and 2016 and is the head of Russia's World Cup organizing committee. "I believe that the best thing a coach has to do is optimise and make the most of the virtues of his players", Lopetegui told Barcelona-based sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.

"I can not say whether I'm happy or not", Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, after also drawing Egypt and Uruguay.

La Roja have overcome their Iberian neighbours in their past two meetings in major competitions and have gone on to win the title after those encounters.

France and their potent strike force of Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C. "It's going to be a hard tournament", Portugal coach added.

"It will be a tough group".

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