Reactions to Euro 2012 draw

Kiev: Reaction to the draw for Euro 2012 that was made in Kiev on Friday.

Group A: Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic

"There is a difficult team in the group with Russia, who have top players," Greece midfielder Nikos Liberopoulos told reporters. "I really hope we get off to a good start.

"It is definitely a positive draw but we know how this can turn into a difficult one. If we don`t prepare well it won`t matter if it is an easy draw or a difficult one."

"This is a good draw ... it`s not a group of death," said Poland coach Franciszek Smuda. "It`s not an easy group either and it will require a lot of effort to advance.”

"Greece have a good team. Everything will depend on the first game in the group against them and whether we win it."

Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal

"It is the toughest group. Netherlands and Portugal have world-class players. We can look forward to very interesting duels," Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters.

"Denmark are always uncomfortable, a typical tournament team. They have no fear of big names. That is what makes them dangerous."

"It is a tough draw but we know our opponents well," Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder said.

"It is always important to win your first match but with Germany and Portugal as next opponents, the opener against Denmark will be crucial."

"This is probably the strongest of the four groups, a very balanced one," Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. "Just look at the quality of the teams and their paths.”

"We have a lot of hard work ahead to achieve the objective of getting through to the next phase."

Group C: Spain, Italy, Ireland, Croatia

"We have in our group a team with more prestige like Italy and two sides that went through the playoffs with authority," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told his national soccer federation`s website.

"As far as Italy go, our first opponents, we played them recently (and lost) and they are a very strong team. Group B looks the toughest but it will be a very competitive European championship."

"I wanted to avoid (Ireland coach Giovanni) Trapattoni," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters.

"Spain are very strong, for the first game against them we must arrive mentally prepared."

"We have to play with the same mentality we have shown previously and I am confident," said Italian Trapattoni. "I know Italy better but every game is different.

"Spain are also a very strong team but we have to think about our moment. It will be important our squad is complete with no injuries."

"It is a tough group but you can`t get easy opponents, it`s the 16 best teams in Europe," said Croatia coach Slaven Bilic. "We are privileged to play the world champions (Spain) and the former world champions (Italy).”

"Spain are the favourites. Trapattoni is also a genius and a top man and I am looking forward to playing against him."

Group D: Ukraine, Sweden, France, England

"It could have been worse but it could also have been better," France coach Laurent Blanc told radio RMC. "We could have been in the situation Denmark are in, the group of death.”

"But we could also have been in Group A which seems a bit more open. We are in between, with a great football nation in England, Sweden, who are a good team, and one of the host countries, Ukraine."

Asked if England would shift their planned base in Krakow, Poland, coach Fabio Capello said: "No, absolutely not, because I think it is better to find a really good place and facilities.”

"I think the favourites are always Spain ... they are the best team in the world at the moment. Also Holland are a good team. Probably you can find some surprises, when I think about surprises I think Portugal."

Bureau Report

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