Socceroos draw World Cup champs Spain

THE Socceroos will be pitted against reigning World Cup champions Spain and 2010 runners-up, the Netherlands, in a horror draw for Brazil 2014.

It was never going to be easy for Ange Postecoglou's men but it could hardly have been worse with the Aussies lumped in with the two European heavyweights.

An impressive Chile outfit, ranked 15th, rounds out Group B. Spain are the number one national team in the world and the Netherlands 9th.

Postecoglou said it was "logical" to write-off the 59th ranked Socceroos in such elite company but the challenge provided the Aussies with an the opportunity to create their own headlines.

"We're going to see some great football in our group - some fantastic footballing nations with great history - and our job is to play our part," the new Socceroos coach said.

"It's an enormous challenge for us, but for a nation like ours, that's exactly what we want. We've got a chance to make some headlines when the World Cup comes around.

"We've got some really immediate challenges to face with the quality of these teams but as I said the beauty of it is they all play good football."

The last piece of the World Cup puzzle fell into place for the Socceroos in the wee hours of the morning. Australia’s 4th appearance at football's showpiece event begins against Chile on June 13 before they take on the Netherlands on 18 June and Spain on 23 June.

The 2014 World Cup Groups are:

Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Mexico, Croatia

Group B: Spain, Chile, Australia, Netherlands

Group C: Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Japan, Greece

Group D: Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica, England

Group E: Switzerland, Equador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Nigeria, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovnia

Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, USA

Group F: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

Postecoglou said the Socceroos would rise to the challenge. 

"We want to keep growing, we want to keep getting better and that's our measures - we'll certainly go out and do our best that's for sure," the Aussie mentor said.

"There woulddn't be one of our players, any Australian player, who wouldn't be looking forward to this immensely, to play the world's best teams, that's why you go to a World Cup.

"Everyone will be writing us off in this group - which I think is logical - but from our perspective we've got some great opportunities to show the world we can play some good football against the best nations in the world.

"Our group looks the most difficult group but I hope it's the group that plays the best football."

Beamed live to 180 countries around the world, the draw was a glittering event that took place in Costa do Sauipe, Bahai, Brazil and included an impressive array of football royalty such as Pele, Zinedine Zedane, Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro and Ronaldo.

The greatest tournament on the world's sporting calendar kicks off in just six months when 32 teams from five confederations compete across 12 cities between June 12 and July 13.

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer David Gallop was confident the Socceroos could unite Australia next June in Brazil.

“Our mission is to unite all Australians behind the Socceroos and the World Cup gives us a great opportunity to achieve that goal," Gallop said.

"We’ll take on the world’s best and show the values that make Australians proud as we take the entire country with us on what will be a great challenge and journey.

“The quality of this group means that millions of Australians will watch TV, read the news in papers and online, and engage on social media during the World Cup next year. It’s a showcase of what football brings to Australia – a bridge to the world and finding our place in the global village.”

The draw began with a tribute to Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid leader and first black president, who passed away at the age of 95 yesterday. The last World Cup was held in South Africa in 2010.

Australia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup matches
June 13: Chile v Australia at Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba, 6pm kick off (local time)
June 18: Australia v Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, 1pm kick off (local time)
June 23: Australia v Spain at Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, 1pm kick off (local time)