England to learn World Cup draw fate

Lucy Bush
December 3, 2017

"So, I like the fact that's been shared and I think it's important for us, especially with the younger groups, that they get a feel of that and that they get a feel of responsibility".

It was nearly fated, it seems, that given the links between the Belgium squad and England - and between Martinez and the country the 44-year-old Spaniard spent 21 years in, building his career as a player and as a manager with Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton - that the two nations would meet.

Tunisia and England will meet in their opening game in Volgograd on June 18 - a repeat of the 1998 World Cup group stage, when England won 2-0 in their first match in Marseille.

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He added: "It would be easy to say there is a certain round and level but the reality is we don't know".

"It was a brilliant occasion so to be leading the country out into that same occasion, the first game of the World Cup, I am hugely proud".

But the matches against Tunisia and England will be particularly evocative for their coach Hernan Dario Gomez.

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"What's exciting for our team is, although we lack some big match experience and we don't have at the moment trophies and medals on the table for a lot of the lads, I think that's all ahead for them and what's possible is exciting".

Asked for his memories of that game, he said: "The goal Beckham scored!" Wahbi Khazri is perhaps their best-known player following two years at Sunderland, but it is a squad without star quality.

"Panama are very happy with this group". We have come unstuck against supposedly lesser nations in the past and we have had really good results against teams that would be seeded higher than us. "Panama are learning and trying to progress", he said.

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Gareth Southgate's side are in Pot 2 so could potentially be drawn alongside one of Brazil, Argentina or Germany, who are all in Pot 1. 95 per cent of our squad plays overseas, and when they play for the national team they look forward to it and enjoy it. But asked if he feared any of their players, he quipped: "The only risky player is Messi!"

Other reports by Info About Network

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