Top coaches cau­tious after WC draw

The Sunday Guardian - - Sports - MOSCOW

Coaches of top foot­ball na­tions Ger­many, Brazil and Por­tu­gal sounded a cau­tious note after the of­fi­cial draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup was an­nounced here.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Ger­many have been placed along with lower ranked na­tions Mex­ico (16), Swe­den (18) and Korea Repub­lic (59) in Group F on Fri­day.

Ti­tle con­tenders Brazil have been placed with Switzer­land, Costa Rica and Ser­bia in Group E.

Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Por­tu­gal and 2010 FIFA World Cup hold­ers Spain, Morocco and Iran have found them­selves in Group B.

“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,” Ger­many coach Joachim Loew was quoted as say­ing by Marca.

Brazil coach Tite said: “More than eval­u­at­ing the group, what I al­ways have in mind is the evo­lu­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion of the team. These are top-class ad­ver­saries and that’s why they are here.”

Por­tu­gal coach Fer­nando San­tos felt that the clash against bit­ter ri­val Spain may de­cide the group lead­ers.

“It’s a very de­cep­tive and treach­er­ous group. Por­tu­gal have to ac­cept that we are one of the favourites but if you look in a bit more de­tail, you can see it’s very dif­fi­cult. Spain are nat­u­rally favourites, as I’ve al­ways said,” he said. THE IN­DE­PEN­DENT

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