FIFA officials conducted the draw Friday for the World Cup, to be contested June 12-July 13 in various cities in Brazil. The tournament will open with Brazil playing Croatia in Sao Paulo. The final game is to be played at Rio de Janeiro.
There is irony in Group B where Spain, which beat the Netherlands 1-0 to win the 2010 World Cup, will open its 2014 tournament against the Dutch. Chile and Australia were also drawn into that group.
Brazil, which is 10th in the world rankings, leads Group A as the tournament host and, in addition to Croatia, must deal with Mexico and Cameroon in round-robin play.
Spain defeated the Netherlands with Germany taking third and Uruguay fourth in the 2010 World Cup. All but the Netherlands are seeded teams and so lead their groups for 2014.
Germany tops Group G with Portugal, Ghana and the United States while Uruguay meets Costa Rica, England and Italy in Group D.
Switzerland is perhaps the seeded team with the lightest soccer legacy so many analysts said a selection into Group E would be seen as a good sign. Those teams are Ecuador, France and Honduras.
Argentina appears to be been given a good draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina for its first match and Iran and Nigeria also in Group F.
Colombia was placed in Group C along with Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. Belgium's Group H includes Algeria, Russia and South Korea.
The complete draw for the 2014 World Cup