Holders Spain will play France in the qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after the draw was made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday.
Having won UEFA EURO 2008 and last summer's World Cup in South Africa, Vicente del Bosque's side were the top seeds in Pot 1. They were drawn in the only five-team pool, Group I, along with the 1998 winners France, Belarus, Georgia and Finland.
Elsewhere, 2006 world champions Italy face the likes of Denmark and the Czech Republic, while Germany will tackle Sweden, and the Republic of Ireland in their section. Group A − Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Scotland and Wales − is sprinkled with local rivalries.
In another twist of fate, the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland and Ukraine find themselves in Group H along with England, Montenegro, Moldova and San Marino. The European qualifying competition, to be played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013, has been divided into eight groups of six teams and one of five.
The nine section winners progress straight to the finals in Brazil − to be held from 12 June to 13 July 2014 − and the eight best runners-up will play off for the remaining four berths over two legs from 15 to 19 November 2013, with the winners of those matches also competing in South America.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying groups
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Ireland
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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