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Sports

World Waiting for World Cup Draw

With the "entire world watching Leipzig," as FIFA president Sepp Blatter puts it, it might be good to get an idea of what exactly you're watching when the World Cup final draw takes place on Friday.

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The eight seeded teams were announced on Tuesday

World Cup organizers picked the eight top, or seeded, teams to head each group on Tuesday. Along with host Germany and defending champs Brazil, England, Argentina, Mexico, Italy, France and Spain will each head a group, from A to H.

The seeded draw on Tuesday sets the stage for the nerve-wracking draw on Friday night in Leipzig.

Will Germany have to duke it out with archrival Holland in their group? Will England and Portugal relive their exciting quarterfinal shootout in the 2004 European championships? Will France and the US relieve their political tension on the soccer pitch?

320 million watching

Around 4,000 VIP guests, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, and 320 million television viewers in 145 countries will watch the action live. Supermodel Heidi Klum will host the event along with German sports anchor Reinhold Beckmann.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum will host the event

Names of the 32 countries competing in next June's World Cup will be placed into four pots. The first contains the top-seeded teams. Of the eight, only Germany (in A) and Brazil, (in F) have been assigned groups.


Former soccer greats Lothar Matthäus, Holland's Johan Cruyff and Brazilian legend Pele will draw country teams from the remaining three pots. There are a few rules guiding their selection process.

Because Europe has the most teams in the tournament - 14 including the German team - a maximum of two can be in the same group. The rule doesn't apply to the other continental zones, where only one from each zone can be in one of the eight groups.

Even geographical distribution

The second pot will contain Australia, the five African finalists -- Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Angola and Togo -- as well as the two lower-ranked South American teams, Ecuador and Paraguay.

euromaxx fragebogen lothar matthaeus 02

Germany's longest-serving national team player, Lothar Matthäus, will draw teams from the three pots

The third pot will comprise eight European teams: Croatia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

The fourth pot will comprise four Asian teams: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the three remaining from CONCACAF Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.

A special pot will contain only Serbia & Montenegro, the lowest ranked European team, who will be placed in a group including either Brazil, Argentina or Mexico.

Once a team name is drawn by Pele, Cruyff or Matthäus, another draw will be made to assign it to a group.
The teams will then have less than six months to mull over how to best dismantle their opponents.

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