(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) Defending champion Spain will play its opening 2014 World Cup game against the Netherlands, a repeat of the ill-tempered 2010 final, while host Brazil faces a relatively easy path to the knockout stage after Friday's draw.
Argentina, champion in 1978 and 1986, first plays Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only World Cup newcomer among the 32 teams. After that game at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the Argentine team of four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi then plays Iran and finally Nigeria. In six previous World Cup encounters, Nigeria has beaten Argentina just once.
Argentina will be heavily favored to come out top of its Group F. If so, it could find either Switzerland or France in its way in its first knockout game. Those European nations will be hoping to come out on top of their Group E that also includes Ecuador and Honduras.