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The 2014 Brazil World Cup officially kicked off on Friday with the celebration of the group draw.
World Cup Draw Kicks Off Brazil 2014
The draw for the 2014 World Cup took place in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia today. The draw is the first major event of the tournament and it is in this instance where a lot of things are decided.

The long path to winning the World Cup starts here, as the draw sets the difficulty bar for each nation in the tournament. Not only will each team pay close attention to who they will face in the 1st round, but the more ambitious nations will already be looking ahead at their 2nd round potential rivals.

Click on each group header to learn more:

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 & Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
The event was hosted by the actress and model Fernanda Lima accompanied by Rodrigo Hilbert who is also an actor and model. When Sepp Blatter was presented to stage along with Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, the audience was asked to keep a minute of silence in honor of Nelson Mandela.
First, Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque was asked to return the trophy as it is time for a new world champion. With spectacular videos every nation to participate in the cup were presented and later another video showed off the beauty of the Brazilian cities that will host the tournament.
For the most important part of the ceremony which was the group draw, a selection of soccer legends were presented such as Zinedine Zidane, Cafu, Fernando Hierro, Mario Kempes, Fabbio Cannavaro, among others.

The United States was drawn into the toughest group of the competition along with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal. The USMNT will face the home country of coach Jurgen Klinsmann, which happens to be one of the top 5 teams in the world and one of the favorites to win it all. The other squad to face is that which eliminated the USMNT in the 2010 South Africa World Cup: Ghana. To make matters a bit more complicated for Klinsmann's squad, Portugal was also drawn into this group. Although Portugal is not recognized for their collective play, having one of the top 3 players of the world in Cristiano Ronaldo is something to consider. In theory, Portugal and Germany are favorites to win Group G, but they must feel unlucky with the group they were drawn into.
Mexico, who scraped into the tournament by way of the play-offs, will open their participation against Cameroon and were placed in Group A which also includes hosts Brazil and Croatia. Although the group is not the toughest in the competition, it will be no easy task to make it to the next round for El Tri. Brazil and Mexico have an interesting recent history as El Tri beat the Scratch Do Ouro in the London Olympics Final to win the gold medal, but the 5-time World Cup champs revenged that loss in the Confederations Cup. Croatia is no stranger to Mexico either as they faced each other in the 2002 World Cup with El Tri winning 1-0 thanks to a penalty kick converted by Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

Whichever two teams qualify in this group will have a tough pairing in the next round as they will most likely face either the Netherlands or Spain, the two finalists from the past World Cup.

Hosts and pre-tournament favorites Brazil had the luck of not being paired up with any heavyweights, but they must be looking ahead at Round 2 where they will ultimately face either Spain or the Netherlands. Brazil and Croatia kick off the tournament on June 12 at the Arena de Sao Paolo with the World Cup Final to be played on July 13 in the historic Maracana.
Among the other highlights of the draw are the pairing of Argentina and Nigeria, who previously met in 1990, 1994 and in the 2010 World Cup. In 1990 Nigeria shocked Argentina with a 1-0 when the South Americans came into Italy as the favorites to win it all and at the time reigning world champions. However, Argentina quickly took revenge in the US World Cup beating the Green Eagles 2-1 and again 2-0 in South Africa.
By far the most important match up of Round 1 will be that of the Netherlands and Spain who were paired up in Group B along Chile and Australia. The repeat of the 2010 final will be the opening game for Group B and fans won't have to wait more than two days into the tournament to watch this promising game.
However, there is one group in particular that will get the most attention and that is Group D in which three former World Cup winners will clash: Uruguay, Italy, and England. Costa Rica will have the impossible mission of qualifying in this group.

Brazil 2014 promises to be the best World Cup of all times. Playing in one of the most joyful countries on Earth and possibly the most passionate soccer nation will have an influence in the quality of the tournament. Now that we learned in which group each nation has fallen, the 2014 Brazil World Cup has become even more promising. The action starts on June 12th, but as far as we are concerned, the World Cup has already kicked off.
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