Abuja – Nigeria on Friday in Moscow drew Argentina for the fifth time in six appearances of the Super Eagles at the FIFA World Cup finals.
The Super Eagles were drawn alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in Group D.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Friday’s Final Draw for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup took place at the State Kremlin Palace.
The State Kremlin Palace is the Parliament of the Russian Federation, which served the same purpose when the country was a much bigger, more intimidating Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Gary Lineker, who played in the 1986 and 1990 finals for England and scored in both competitions, conducted the Draw alongside Russian star Maria Komandnaya.
Miroslav Klose, the World Cup’s highest goalscorer who netted across four finals in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 was the trophy bearer.
Draw assistants were Laurent Blanc (1998 World Cup winner with France); Gordon Banks (goalkeeper of England’s 1966 winning squad) and Cafu (two –time winner with Brazil).
Also involved in the Final Draw were Fabio Cannavaro (Italy’s 2006 winning captain), Diego Forlan of Uruguay (winners in 1930 and 1950) and Diego Maradona (who led Argentina to victory in 1986, after they won at home in 1978).
Others were Carles Puyol (involved in Spain’s 2010 triumph in South Africa) and Nikita Simonyan (who played for 2018 hosts Russia in the 1958 finals in Sweden).
Below are the groups:
Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay
Group B – Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran
Group C – France, Australia, Peru and Denmark
Group D – Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria
Group E – Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia
Group F – Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea
Group G – Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England
Group H – Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to kick off on June 14 and last till July 15. (NAN)