- Something for everyone to talk about in WCup draw Updated: Dec-06-13 5:48 pm
- What they said about the World Cup draw Updated: Dec-06-13 5:34 pm
- World Cup draw: the strong, the weak, the lucky Updated: Dec-06-13 4:53 pm
- Platini: WCup draw helping France was FIFA idea Updated: Dec-04-13 3:31 pm
- Brazil prepares for street protests at World Cup Updated: Dec-03-13 5:11 pm
- Belounis to sue former Qatari clubs Updated: Dec-03-13 8:33 am
- How Switzerland joined the World Cup seeded elite Updated: Dec-02-13 12:24 pm
- How Switzerland joined the World Cup seeded elite Updated: Dec-02-13 8:32 am
- Column: Because of Messi, Ronaldo for Golden Ball Updated: Nov-29-13 1:55 pm
- Column: Because of Messi, Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or Updated: Nov-29-13 1:09 pm
- PSG on the verge of sealing qualification Updated: Nov-26-13 7:32 am
- Column: Hold the hype on the World Cup Updated: Nov-20-13 12:14 pm
- France, Portugal reach World Cup Updated: Nov-20-13 11:37 am
- Ronaldo's hat trick sends Portugal to World Cup Updated: Nov-19-13 7:21 pm
- France facing tough challenge against Ukraine Updated: Nov-18-13 3:44 am
- Deschamps fears Ukraine's wingers in WCup playoff Updated: Nov-12-13 8:39 am
- Ribery hopes Ukraine's defenders all focus on him Updated: Nov-11-13 1:27 pm
- Deschamps snaps after repeated questions on Evra Updated: Nov-07-13 9:42 am
There are scores to settle, family feuds and no shortage of karmic reckoning. For something so random, Friday's World Cup draw delivered a blockbuster mix of intrigue, entertainment and story lines that will keep folks talking from now until the tournament kicks off June 12.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Coaches and players were quick to react to Friday's World Cup draw. The following is a selection.
Who wound up in difficult groups and who got away easy from Friday's World Cup draw (average world ranking for four teams in parentheses):
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - Michel Platini has distanced himself from FIFA's choice of World Cup draw procedure, which appeared to give his native France a better chance in next year's tournament in Brazil.
RIO DE JANEIRO - Few things could damage the image of Brazil more than violent street protests during the World Cup.
PARIS - Zahir Belounis plans to sue his two former Qatari clubs for fraud, extortion of money and inhuman working conditions.
GENEVA - There is one certainty among many possibilities offered by the World Cup draw Friday: Most teams want to be in Switzerland's group.
GENEVA - There is one certainty among many possibilities offered by the World Cup draw on Friday: Most teams want to be in Switzerland's group.
PARIS - What's not to like about Cristiano Ronaldo? Other than the fact that he's fabulously rich, a giant success in his chosen profession, has a cute-looking son and steps out with a fashion model.
PARIS - What's not to like about Cristiano Ronaldo? Other than the fact that he's fabulously rich, a giant success in his chosen profession, steps out with a fashion model, has a cute-looking son and is dreamy to many members of the opposite and indeed his own sex.
PARIS - With Paris Saint-Germain needing only one point against visiting Olympiakos, the race is on for second place in Group C of the Champions League.
PARIS - Even though it comes around comet-like just once every four years, or perhaps precisely because of that, the World Cup's grip on the planet's imagination remains impressive. French fans' delirious chants of "We're going to Brazil!" after their team dug deep to defeat Ukraine in the playoffs and Cristiano Ronaldo's joy at his hat trick that qualified Portugal showed how much this most global of sports tournaments means to nations and people alike.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick to lift Portugal into next year's World Cup at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden, and France came back in remarkable fashion to overtake Ukraine for a berth in the 32-nation field for next year's tournament in Brazil.
The irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick to send Portugal into the 2014 World Cup finals at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden on Tuesday, while France advanced by conjuring a remarkable turnaround against Ukraine.
LONDON - France needs an unprecedented comeback to avoid missing its first World Cup in 20 years. No European team has ever qualified for the World Cup through the playoffs after losing the first leg 2-0.
PARIS - Ukraine's attacking players are in good form ahead of the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff against France on Friday.
CLAIREFONTAINE, France - Winger Franck Ribery knows he will be a marked man against Ukraine in the first match of their World Cup playoff on Friday and is confident that can play straight into France's hands.
PARIS - France coach Didier Deschamps lost his calm in a media conference Thursday when asked repeatedly about Patrice Evra's inclusion in his squad for the upcoming World Cup playoff against Urkaine.