December 1, 2017 / 4:39 PM / 10 months ago

Soccer-Reaction to the World Cup draw

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Group-by-group reaction to the World Cup draw on Friday:

Group D

Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona: “It’s not a bad group at all. Argentina have to improve... we can’t play as badly as we have been doing.”

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Group E

Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Former Brazil striker Walter Casagrande: “It’s a good group to start with. It’s a group to prepare for the second phase in.”

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic: “Brazil are not the only opponents in the group, the others are also difficult.

“We must be prepared for Costa Rica, they are awkward opponents. Serbia have always had good individuals and this time they have formed a good group.”

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Group F

Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Germany coach Joaquim Loew: “...this is a very interesting group of opponents. What we want to do in the group stage is set a foundation for the successful title defence. This is our goal.”

German FA president Reinhard Grindel: “A very interesting group and a challenging task for our team. Preparation for Joachim Loew’s team ahead of our first three group opponents starts now.”

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer: “Mexico play aggressive football, we can cope well with Sweden and we know what to expect given they eliminated Italy. South Korea are a strong team.”

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Group G

Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez: “It is a challenging group, I think it is the most demanding group in terms of travelling.”

Belgian newspaper Het Laatse Nieuws: “Another dream draw for Belgium at the World Cup: a top game against England and two other very winnable games.” (Compiled by Brian Homewood)

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