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Coaches have their say on the World Cup draw

Stanislav Cherchesov

The 2010 World Cup winners Spain were placed in the same group as Cristiano Ronaldo's European champions Portugal, while England will face talented Belgium side at the World Cup. "To play against Spain, Portugal and Morocco will be a great opportunity for our players to show why they are here and especially to show that they deserve to be here", the former Real Madrid coach added.

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. "We should be able to handle all those teams", he said.

"The World Cup is a competition in which you can not make mistakes, they have less to lose than we do and that is what makes them more risky".

For fun, we also included the top four teams in the world that did not qualify for the World Cup in a hypothetical Group X. That group would be tougher than any group that is in the World Cup. "They are going to demand the best of us".

"I'm here to say Iran needs special local preparations", the 64-year-old said in a video posted on his Facebook page after Friday's World Cup draw in Moscow. "This is a World Cup".

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.

Russian Federation launch their campaign to win Group A against Saudi Arabia in Moscow's historic and completely refurbished Luzhniki Stadium in the tournament's opening match on June 14. Russian Federation got lucky "I think that this is a flawless - even ideal - group", former Russian Federation coach and three-time domestic Premier League champion Valery Gazzayev told R-Sport.

Also in the group are Uruguay and Egypt.

France coach Didier Deschamps will be confident of winning Group C ahead of Australia, Peru and Denmark.

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.

Portugal are the top seeded team in the group by virtue of their Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking, but coach Fernando Santos admitted Spain would be favoured to top the group.

Japan will face a tough task to finish in the top two of Group H that features Robert Lewandowski's Poland, Sadio Mane's Senegal and Colombia.