Fifa president Gianni Infantino officiated over the draw for the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Reuters
RUSSIA - Defending FIFA World Cup champions Germany will face Mexico, Sweden and South Korea as they try to retain the title for the first time since Brazil in 1962.

The draw was made today in a ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow, attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team which struggled to qualify will play  European debutants Iceland as well as Croatia and Nigeria.

England must play Kevin de Bruyne's Belgium, surprise packages Panama and Tunisia after they were drawn together in the ceremony in the Kremlin.

Host nation Russia will face Saudi Arabia in the tournament-opening match on June 14 in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia's other opponents in Group A are Uruguay, led by Barcelona's Luis Suarez, and Egypt, spearheaded by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.

France and their potent strikeforce featuring Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.

Spain's other opponents in a tough-looking Group B are Morocco and Iran.

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic

Group G: Belgium, Panama, England, Tunisia

Group H: Poland, Columbia, Senegal, Japan


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