In just over six months, UEFA EURO 2012 will get under way in Poland and Ukraine – the culmination of two years' preparation for the co-hosts and the 14 countries that have worked their way through qualifying. All eyes will be on Friday's draw in Kyiv, for which the 16 teams have been divided into four pots based on seedings. UEFA.com asked a cross section of players whether there were any sides they would rather avoid.
Kevin Strootman, Netherlands midfielder
At a European Championship different teams will rise to the occasion. Perhaps that will happen with the Dutch team, I don't know. I've never experienced a tournament like it. Perhaps I will be more nervous during this draw than normal. Perhaps I'll be watching it on television, but it's nice to follow, yes.
Aleksei Berezutski, Russia defender
I think it would be ideal if we happen to get Poland, because we wouldn't really like to play in the same group as Ukraine or particularly Spain and Holland. After that, it doesn't really matter.
Ola Toivonen, Sweden forward
It's hard to say. Of course you want to avoid the best teams in Europe – Spain, Holland and Germany. But I think it's going to be hard. If I could, I would take England. It would be nice to play against England, without Rooney, for example in one of the first two games or something. So it would be good to have England, and then maybe Ukraine or Poland, and then ... I don't know. But one of those three would be good.
Bafétimbi Gomis, France forward
Just that we get the best group possible, in order to keep progressing and to put French football back in its rightful place. I think French football isn't in its rightful place and what happened at the World Cup isn't what French football is about. French football is about passion, about quality players, about lots of good things, so we're looking forward to projecting a different image to the one shown at the World Cup.
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