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World Cup Groups Drawn In Brazil

Bosnia-Herzegovina's squad and coaches celebrate qualifying for next year's soccer World Cup after beating Lithuania in October. It will be the first time the Balkan country will be competing at football's blue riband event.
The group draw for the 32 countries that have qualified for the soccer World Cup in Brazil next summer has been completed.

With former sports stars and coaches on a stage selecting countries randomly from glass bowls on December 6, eight groups of four teams each were formed while tens of millions of people watched on television.

The strongest groups on paper are Group B with Spain, the Netherlands, Chile, and Australia. Spain is the defending World Cup champion and the Dutch and Chile both were dominant during their qualification campaigns.

Group D is also considered tough with traditional powers Italy and England along with 2010 fourth-place finisher Uruguay, and Costa Rica.

Group G with Germany, Portugal, Ghana, and the United States is perhaps the strongest of them all. U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann -- who played 80 games during his career for Germany's national team and also was the country's coach from 2004-2006 -- said his group "couldn't be harder."

Russia is in Group H -- considered to be one of the weaker groups -- where it will play Belgium, Algeria, and South Korea.

Iran and first-time participant Bosnia-Herzegovina find themselves in what would be considered a stronger Group F, with matches against each other and also traditional world power Argentina and reigning African champion Nigeria.

Croatia is in Group A and will have to play five-times World Cup winner and tournament host Brazil along with games against experienced national teams from Cameroon and Mexico.

Group C will definitely be considered one of the weakest with Greece, the Ivory Coast, Columbia, and Japan in it.

And Group E has France, Switzerland, Ecuador, and Honduras.

The World Cup will be played over the course of one month in 12 stadiums throughout Brazil starting on June 12.

With reporting by ARD and AP
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