Five times World Cup champions Brazil and Croatia will play the opening match of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The fixture was announced at Friday’s World Cup draw at the luxurious Costa do Sauípe in Salvador which revealed a number of scintillating ties in the group stages. It was conducted by FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, assisted by Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Alcides Ghiggia, Fernando Hierro, Sir Geoff Hurst, Mario Kempes, Lothar Matthaus and Zinedine Zidane, who were representing the eight World Cup winners.
Brazil who are the seeded team in Group A will meet the Croatians at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo on June 12. Group A also includes CONCACAF team Mexico and African giant Cameroon.
Group B dubbed the ‘group of death’ includes defending champions Spain, beaten 2010 finalist the Netherlands, Chile and Australia. The standout tie of the first round will see the Spanish facing the Dutch in a repeat of the 2010 final on June 13.
Over in Group C, Ivory Coast will face off with Colombia, Greece and Japan.
The draw for Group D sees four time winners Italy going up against England on June 14 as Uruguay face Costa Rica the same day, while in Group E, France are down to meet CONCACAF team Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland.
Argentina meanwhile are favourites to advance from Group F that also includes Iran, African champions Nigeria and first time qualifiers Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Over in the competitive Group G, Germany are down to meet Portugal, Ghana and the United States, while in Group H Belgium take on Algeria, Russia and Korea Republic.
Germany meanwhile will become the first team to reach 100 World Cup matches when they face the Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal in their opening game in Salvador on June 16.
The World Cup final will unfold at the cathedral of Brazilian football, the iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, on July 13.
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