Defending champions Spain open against Italy in Euro 2012 draw
Defending champions Spain will play 1968 winners Italy in Group C of football’s Euro 2012 after the draw on Friday in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Ukraine and Poland are joint hosts of next year’s tournament. The Republic of Ireland and Croatia will join them in the group.
England are favourites to win Group D and will kick off their Euro bid against France on 11 June. The teams previously met in their opening match in Euro 2004 when French football legend Zinedine Zidane gave France a two-one victory.
The two teams are joined in Group D by Ukraine and Sweden.
Group B appears to be the most finely balanced on paper with the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Portugal while Poland will face Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic in Group A.
The tournament opens on 8 June when Poland take on 2004 champions Greece at the National Stadium in Warsaw with the final at Kiev’s new multi-million euro Olympic Stadium on 1 July.
The organisers insisted on Friday the tournament will be a success despite concerns about the lack of hotel rooms and inadequate infrastructure.
“Euro 2012 will be a resounding success, a milestone in the history of European football” said UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.
Euro 2012 draw
- Group A - Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic
- Group B - Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal
- Group C - Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Croatia
- Group D - England, France, Ukraine, Sweden
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe