England handed group of death in World Cup draw.
Holders Spain will begin their defence of the World Cup with a rematch of the 2010 final against the Netherlands in Salvador on 12 June 2014.
The Spanish, who beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final in South Africa thanks to an extra-time goal by Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta, were also handed a repeat meeting with Chile, having defeated the South Americans in the group stage in 2010.
Australia complete the line-up in a tricky-looking Group B.
England find themselves in a potentially tougher Group D, however, alongside Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy.
A meeting with Luis Suarez’s Uruguay, the 2011 Copa America winners and semi-finalists at the last World Cup promises to be a hard enough test for England in their second match in Sao Paulo on June 19.
However, before that Roy Hodgson’s side must face Italy in their opening game in the heat of northern city Manaus on June 15 in a repeat of the Euro 2012 quarter-final, which Italy won on penalties after domination possession for 120 minutes.
European heavyweights Germany and Portugal were drawn together in a testing Group G that also includes Ghana and Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA.
The two European nations will meet in their first match in Salvador on June 16.
The draw was kinder to hosts Brazil, however, as they seek to make up for their failure to lift the trophy when they last hosted the finals back in 1950.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team will face Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A, with their opening match against the Croatians in Sao Paulo in June 12.
That will be the first game of the month-long competition, which will also see Argentina take on Iran, Nigeria and the only tournament debutants, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Group F.
After scraping through qualifying via a play-off, France were drawn in Group E with neighbours Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.
Colombia will face Greece, the Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C, while Belgium, another of the potential dark horses, will meet Algeria, Russia and South Korea in Group H.
Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea