The draw has been held for next year’s World Cup football (soccer) tournament in Germany, with the host country grouped with Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador. World Cup champions and favorite Brazil play Croatia, Australia and Japan in Group-F.
Brazil will play its first game on June 13, 2006, against Croatia, in Berlin. The game against Australia will happen in Munich, June 18. And four days later the Brazilian national team will face the Japanese in Dortmund.
The results of the drawing were received with enthusiasm by the Brazilian players and managers. Brazilians will be trying to become hexachampions since they are already pentachampions or five-time champions of the world in soccer.
The winner in the Brazilian group will play against the second place from group E, which has Italy, Ghana, the Czech Republic and the United States. The second in the group faces the first in the E group. Brazil and Argentina will only be able to play if both teams reach the final.
The draw was held Friday in Leipzig, one of the 12 cities that will host the month-long tournament. The Germans lead Group-A and will play Costa Rica in the opening game June 9 in a new stadium in Munich.
In Group-B England plays Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sweden. Argentina faces the Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro in Group-C.
Iran plays in Group-D with Mexico, Angola, and Portugal. The U.S. team went into Group-E with Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic.
France plays in Group-G with Switzerland, Togo, and 2002 semifinalists and co-hosts South Korea. Spain plays Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in Group-H.
The World Cup starts June 9 in Munich and ends July 9, 2006 in Berlin. The last time Germany won the World Cup was 1990. Brazil has captured the World Cup two of the last three times.
Full of confidence and even a little overconfident Brazil is already looking ahead. Comment of Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, after the drawing: "We will probably play Italy or the Czech Republic aftet advancing from the first round."