On Friday afternoon in Moscow, the groups for the 2018 FIFA World Cup were determined. Borussia will be represented at the tournament by players for Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.
The German national team will come up against Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F next summer. Defending champions and Confederation Cup winners Germany qualified for the tournament with an impeccable record of ten wins from ten games. Borussia’s Lars Stindl and Matthias Ginter have been regulars in Joachim Löw’s squad in recent months. "Mexico are a strong opposition who we know from the Confed Cup. They have some strong attacking options and can be a real nuisance. Sweden knocked Italy out in the playoffs, so they’ll come into the tournament full of fight. I know South Korea from the 2016 Olympic Games; they have a lot of quick, agile players," said Ginter: "They are three very different opponents. Our aim is to win the group."
Switzerland have been drawn against Brazil, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E, which means should they and Germany progress from their respective groups, there could be a Fohlenelf clash in the Last 16. The Swiss narrowly missed out on direct qualification but beat Northern Ireland over two legs in the playoffs to book their place at the tournament. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer, Nico Elvedi and Denis Zakaria can all have high hopes of being on the plane for Switzerland. Josip Drmic will also most likely have his sights set on spending the summer in Russia.
The Danish national team will come up against France, Australia and Peru in their World Cup group. Jannik Vestergaard’s side, like Switzerland, finished second in their qualifying group and secured their participation via the playoffs, beating Ireland 5-1 on aggregate. Vestergaard has been an integral part of manager Åge Hareide’s team for years and had the following to say about the draw: "I am pleased with the draw. It’s a good group. France have the most quality of all the teams, so we’ll be fighting for second place. I am confident we can go through."
Belgium, on the other hand, qualified for the World Cup as group winners and have been drawn in Group G along with Panama, Tunisia and England. Borussia’s Thorgan Hazard has become a regular in Roberto Martinez’s squad. In November, he made his seventh and eighth appearances for the Red Devils. "We’ve been put in an evenly-matched group, but we hope to go through," said Hazard. "England is a tough, but an interesting draw, because a lot of our players play in the Premier League. That will motivate us a lot. Tunisia, I must admit I know more about than Panama, who are at their first World Cup. They have players that can make a big difference, so we mustn’t underestimate them."