2014 World Cup draw: Italy to play England, U.S. to play Germany

The most anticipated event in world soccer, aside from the World Cup, is arguably the day soccer's world governing body splits the 32 qualifying nations for the upcoming World Cup into eight groups.

The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in took place today in Brazil. The host nation will open the event in Sao Paulo on June 12 against Croatia.

Reigning world champions Spain will play in a group with the Netherlands — the team it beat in the 2010 final — Chile, and Australia.

Among the other highlights: Italy and England will face off in a group match in Manaus on June 14, and the United States will play in a group with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal.

The elaborate draw ceremony in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil, opened with a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who was instrumental in landing the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.

(Table: via FIFA website)

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