All the reaction to the 2014 World Cup draw

    • Hosts Brazil will kick off the 2014 World Cup against Croatia on June 12. They are joined in Group A with Mexico and Cameroon.
    • Finalists in 2010, Spain and Holland, are drawn together in Group B alongside Chile and Australia.
    • Former winners England, Italy and Uruguay will meet in Group D. They are joined by Costa Rica.

    • Germany, Portugal, USA and Ghana make up the 'Group of Death' in Group G.

    • Algeria, the Arab world's sole representative, drawn in Group H alongside Belgium, Russia and South Korea.

    RELATED: Al Jazeera Sports duo Richard Keys & Andy Gray deliver their verdict

          A Colombian woman cheers during the final draw of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Bogota, Colombia, on December 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Guillermo Legaria (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ... more 
          A Colombian woman cheers during the final draw of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Bogota, Colombia, on December 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Guillermo Legaria (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images) less 
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          Getty Images
          Fri, Dec 6, 2013 9:00 PM AST (Arabian)
          IN SUMMARY

          Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

          Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

          Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

          Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

          Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

          Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iran, Nigeria

          Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

          Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

          RELATED: 2014 World Cup finals group fixtures

          REACTION

          The world's most expensive player, Gareth Bale, was one of the first to offer his thoughts on the draw:

          England's 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst sees the funny side of England's group:

          Argentina and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero tweets:

          Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o is refusing to let a tough draw get him down:

          RELATED: The coaches' verdicts on their respective World Cup draws

          Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil relishing the prospect of meeting his former Real Madrid team-mates:

          Nigeria forward Victor Moses seems content with his nation's lot:

          England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney took to his Facebook page to give his reaction: "If we want to be the best, we have to beat the best. Tough group but really looking forward to it! Roll on Brazil 2014!"

          France legend Zinedine Zidane WON'T be a happy man with Les Bleus' World Cup opener against minnows Honduras. Here's why:

          THE 'OTHER' STAR OF THE NIGHT...

          COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06: Hosts Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert speak to the audience before the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, ... more 
          COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06: Hosts Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert speak to the audience before the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) less 
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          Fri, Dec 6, 2013 10:00 PM AST (Arabian)

          RELATED: More World Cup tickets to on sale from Sunday, December 8

          OFFICIAL LAUNCH

          Adidas launched the official World Cup ball earlier this week. Meet the "brazuca"...

          Fun facts:

          • The brazuca went through a two-and-a-half year testing process making it the most tested all EVER.
          • The process involved 600 of the world's top players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents.
          • The name "brazuca" is an informal local term which means "Brazilian", or it can also describe the Brazilian way of life.
          • The name was chosen after a public vote involving one million Brazilian fans.

          RELATED: Pictures from the launch party of the official World Cup ball

          For all you football hipsters out there you might like this... the history of the World Cup ball from 1970 to 2014. Yep, all 12 of them.

          TELSTAR - Mexico 1970
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          Yahoo Maktoob News
          Wed, Dec 4, 2013 4:00 PM AST (Arabian)










          WORLD CUP VENUES

          The 12 stadiums that the world's best players will grace next summer:

          Estádio do Maracanã (Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho) in Rio de Janeiro

          Capacity 78.639
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          Yahoo Maktoob News | Photo by WM
          Wed, Dec 4, 2013 6:00 PM AST (Arabian)

          EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

          Earlier this week, Yahoo Maktoob Sports caught up with two men who have both been fortunate enough to play in World Cup finals in the past.

          Former Real Madrid full-back Michel Salgado, now a resident in Dubai, was part of Spain's 2006 squad and can't wait for the festival of football to kick off next summer.

          He also spoke candidly about his country's new secret weapon and Gareth Bale's start to life in Real Madrid. Well worth a watch.

          We also spoke to Al Ahli captain Grafite, who was a a member of Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad.

          The big striker insists Neymar - the poster boy of next summer's World Cup, can handle the burden of carrying a nation's hopes. He also dropped a huge hint of where his future may lie next season.

          RELATED: World Cup prize money increases 37 per cent

          WHO'S ON THE PLANE TO BRAZIL

          Hosts Brazil are hoping to lift a sixth World Cup, but they face a stiff challenge from the other 31 nations when the tournament kicks off on June 12. Here, we take a closer look at the countries bound for Brazil.

          BRAZIL -- The tournament hosts look to duplicate their Confederations Cup performance next summer. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
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          The Associated Press | Photo by Victor Caivano
          Thu, Jul 4, 2013 3:40 PM AST (Arabian)

          From the collective to the individuals, we take a closer look at the star men of each country. No prizes for guessing who tops the bill for Argentina and Portugal respectively.

          Lionel Messi, Argentinien
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          Getty Images | Photo by AFP/Getty Images
          Sun, Jun 3, 2012 4:00 AM AST (Arabian)

          AND WHO ISN'T...

          While Messers Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney will be gracing football's biggest stage next summer, spare a thought for these players who'll instead be confined to their sofas.

          Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- Sweden
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          The Associated Press
          Wed, Nov 20, 2013 2:26 PM AST (Arabian)

          PARTY TIME

          Former Brazil striker Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in World Cup history with 15 goals and is confident of a trouble free tournament in his home country.

          Teams

          Group A

          • Brazil
            Brazil *
          • Cameroon
            Cameroon
          • Mexico
            Mexico
          • Croatia
            Croatia

          Group B

          • Spain
            Spain *
          • Australia
            Australia
          • Chile
            Chile
          • Netherlands
            Netherlands

          Group C

          • Colombia
            Colombia *
          • Côte d'Ivoire
            Côte d'Ivoire
          • Greece
            Greece
          • Japan
            Japan

          Group D

          • Uruguay
            Uruguay *
          • England
            England
          • Italy
            Italy
          • Costa Rica
            Costa Rica

          Group E

          • Switzerland
            Switzerland *
          • France
            France
          • Honduras
            Honduras
          • Ecuador
            Ecuador

          Group F

          • Argentina
            Argentina *
          • Nigeria
            Nigeria
          • Bosnia-Herzegovina
            Bosnia-Herzegovina
          • Iran
            Iran

          Group G

          • Germany
            Germany *
          • Ghana
            Ghana
          • Portugal
            Portugal
          • USA
            USA

          Group H

          • Belgium
            Belgium *
          • Algeria
            Algeria
          • South Korea
            South Korea
          • Russia
            Russia