Spain take on Ronaldo's Portugal as Russian Federation are handed kind draw

Spain take on Ronaldo's Portugal as Russian Federation are handed kind draw

Spain take on Ronaldo's Portugal as Russian Federation are handed kind draw

The Portuguese boss Fernando Santos acknowledged European champions Portugal and 2010 World Cup winners Spain should be considered the favorites in Group B, though he refused to underestimate Morocco and Iran.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo will be 33 come next year's finals, meaning this will probably be his last shot at World Cup glory.

"Portugal have won an important title and, moreover, very recently".

"You know football, you always have a chance", said Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson.

While this group is the nearest yet the farthest from being a "Group of Death", an interesting demonstration of skills is expected in the field as the maestros from Spain including Andres Iniesta will play against the Best FIFA Men's Player award victor Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. "(Coach) Tite has to be preparing his strategy".

As Friday's draw concluded and the World Cup began to take shape, fans were left pondering a mouthwatering clash between Spain and Portugal, renewed optimism in the Three Lions and a slightly surreal tournament opener.

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"Ronaldo waits for us in Russian Federation", ran the headline in Spanish sports daily Marca's digital edition, whilst their Portuguese counterparts A Bola lamented "Spain is the worst side that could have come out of pot two for the national team". Jorge Sampaoli's team will have to improve in order to come through a tricky group with an Iceland side that continue to defy the odds, Nigeria and the always risky Croatia.

"I go back to the last two tournaments".

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And so we will hope to go through to the knock-out phase without too much trouble and then will be the cross-over with the group containing Russian Federation and Uruguay, talking of favourites. Tunisia and debutants Panama complete the group.

"Uruguay is a small country with a lot of history and it deserves to be known by everyone". His club-mate, Robert Lewandowski will be hoping to fire Poland into the knockout stages, even if it looks unlikely he restricts their success in the Bundesliga, Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa will be hoping he can help Japan find success in this group, whilst Senegal will be heavily reliant on Liverpool's Sadio Mane if they're to have any success in Group H.

Croatia's Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic after their tricky draw in Group D.

The tournament has been much anticipated for being the first world cup that is to be played in Europe since 2006.

"But we also played without Victor Moses".

"Although it's a hard group, we believe in ourselves and definitely we can advance from the group", he said.

"We will do everything to make it a major sporting festival", Putin said, looking forward to a World Cup of "friendship and fair play, values that do not change with time". "Winning will be the key before playing France".

Julen Lopetegui, a former Spanish footballer and current manager of Spanish national football team, said that Spain will face "one of the most toughest teams, including the Moroccan squad, who excluded the Ivorian team in the World Cup qualifiers". "I'm not familiar with any of our group's teams".

But he also conceded: "We just didn't want to get Spain from pot two".

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