Russia 2018: Nigeria Draws Argentina Again

 

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team which struggled to qualify will play Nigeria for the fifth time, as well as  World Cup debutants Iceland and dangerous Croatia.

The 2010 World Cup winners Spain were placed in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions Portugal, while England will face a talented Belgium side at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

The glitzy draw at the Kremlin on Friday placed Neymar’s Brazil in a group including Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia as they seek a sixth title.

Holders Germany meanwhile were paired with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as Joachim Loew’s men try to become the first nation to retain the title since Brazil in 1962.

In a ceremony overseen by their former striker Gary Lineker, England were placed with Kevin de Bruyne’s Belgium, surprise packages Panama and Tunisia.

  

England manager Gareth Southgate said his mind went back to playing in the 2-0 group-stage win over Tunisia at the 1998 World Cup.

“Remembering the Tunisia game in 1998, it was the first thing that went through my mind,” he said. “It was a fantastic day and it’s nice to be able to relive that.

“We haven’t done as much preparing on the African teams yet so now that’s what we can focus on.”

 The tournament that spans 11 cities and 12 stadiums kicks off when host nation Russia take on Saudi Arabia on June 14 in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

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The World Cup draw Groups A-D

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World Cup draw E-H: NAN

 

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