2010 title winners Spain will be going up against 2014 champions Germany, as the draw for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was announced.
Hosts Qatar have been put in a group with three-time runners-up the Netherlands, one of the strongest African sides to enter a global finals in Senegal, and an Ecuador side who finished above Peru, Colombia and Chile to qualify.
Defending champions France will be tested by Denmark, one of the first nations to reach Qatar, while Argentina must contend with Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Canada, meanwhile, will play their first World Cup game in 36 years against no less a power than Belgium.
England also found themselves in Group B and will face Iran in their opening game on the tournament’s first day, on November 21. Gareth Southgate’s side, semi-finalists four years ago in Russia and runners-up at Euro 2020, might also come up against neighbours Wales or Scotland, although Ukraine could also take the last spot in the European play-offs, to be decided in June.
Hosts Qatar, who will be appearing at their first World Cup, will face Ecuador in the World Cup’s opening game at the 60,000-seat Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, 35 kilometres north-east of Doha.
Last chance for Messi and Ronaldo?
It might be Lionel Messi’s last chance to win a World Cup as he will turn 35 before the tournament. The same goes for Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be nearly 38 when Portugal come up against Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
The draw is as follows:
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Euro play-off (Wales/Scotland/Ukraine)
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, IC play-off 1 (Peru/UAE/Australia), Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea