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Spain rediscover style for new World Cup challenge

04 December 2017
Spain rediscover style for new World Cup challenge

Morocco skipper Medhi Benatia is looking forward to playing Portugal, Spain and Iran in the preliminary round of the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

"We know it will be a tough mission against two of the biggest national teams in the world; Spain and Portugal, but we have to believe in our chances", Belhanda told France Football.

The World Cup groups have been set, and it's possible that the two greatest players on Earth could meet in the final.

The ceremony had Legends of the game representing the eight previous World Cup-winning nations, which included Brazil's Cafu, Italy's Fabio Cannavaro, Uruguay's Diego Forlan, Germany's Miroslav Klose, Argentina's Diego Maradona and Spain's Carles Puyol.

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 has to accept that we are one of the favorites but if you look in a bit more detail, you can see it's very hard", Santos said. Performance against defending World Champions, and bookies favourites, Germany could well determine who qualifies, as it did for the Boys in Green in 2002.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the draw and promised the World Cup would be a "major sporting festival" but Friday's proceedings unfolded against the backdrop of allegations of widespread doping in Russian sport.

The coaches of the 2018 World Cup favourites welcomed a draw that keeps majority apart in the group phase.

"We have shown through the years that if we play well, we can at least give them a good game". "This will be an exciting World Cup".

The French team and their potent strike force of Antoine Griezmann will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

If the allegations have been a negative for Russian Federation, the football squad is likely to be positive with the draw, the host pitted with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A. Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia were the two lowest ranked nations in the proverbial hats. "They are the champions of Europe and they have fantastic players", Lopetegui told Spanish TV station Cuatro.

Group H meanwhile is wide open, featuring Poland - given Pot 1 status ahead of Spain - Senegal, Colombia and Japan.