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Euro 2012 draw as it happened

By Chris Murphy, CNN
updated 11:55 AM EST, Fri December 9, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Follow all the action from the Euro 2012 draw live with CNN World Sport
  • All 16 qualified teams set to learn their group fate and potential route to final
  • Spain are the current holders having beaten Germany at Euro 2008

Editor's note:

(CNN) -- The great and good of European football are assembling in the Ukrainian capital Kiev to learn the fate of the 16 nations involved. Poland and Ukraine will host the tournament, that kicks off on June 8, and with CNN World Sport's live commentary, you won't miss a thing.

Platini: Euro 2012 build up 'a complicated adventure'
Euro 2012 Explainer: Will Poland and Ukraine be ready?
Klitschko: Euro 2012 can change Ukraine

1835 GMT -- Right, that will do it for our live coverage. Thanks for joining us. It is just over six months until the first game of Euro 2012 when Poland will play Greece in Warsaw. Stay tuned to CNN World Sport for reaction which will follow shortly. Bye for now.

1830 GMT -- Twitter: @EldergillCNN World Sport producer Chris Eldergill: "So @PedroCNN & @Honigstein must be disappointed #Por #Germ being drawn in the 'Champagne' group, along with #Holland & #Denmark?"

1826 GMT -- Twitter: @themichaelowen Manchester United striker and former England forward: "Settle for that draw!!!"

1824 GMT -- Twitter: @JackWilshere Arsenal and England midfielder: "Good draw. Hard group but as I said got to beat the best to win it! Be some banter at Arsenal as well with the French lads!"

1822 GMT -- And finally, Group D. This is anyone's guess. France were in the lowest pot of teams but they will probably be favorites to go through, if they can avoid the in-fighting that ravaged their World Cup 2010 bid. No-one knows what to make of England, who are perennially disappointing at major tournaments while Ukraine will be difficult opponents in their own back yard. Sweden are capable but have to ranked as outsiders to go through.

Euro 2012 groups
Group A

Poland

Czech Republic

GreeceRussia

Group B

Netherlands

Denmark

Portugal

Germany

Group C

Spain

Republic of Ireland

Croatia

Italy

Group D

Ukraine

Sweden

France

England

1816 GMT --So, on to Group C and another group with two clear favorites in world champions Spain, who also won Euro 2008, and Italy, who are much-improved under coach Cesare Prandelli. Croatia are no pushovers and their game with Italy will be key, while the Republic of Ireland might also think they can cause an upset -- and they did beat Italy 2-0 in a friendly in June 2011.

1810 GMT -- Group B is the closest we got to a group of death. Netherlands and Germany finished second and third in the 2010 World Cup respectively and will be strong favorites to progress to the last eight. Portugal will have something to say about that though -- any team with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in it, widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, will be tricky opponents. Not many will fancy Denmark to get out of the group.

1808 GMT -- Right, let's have a look group by group. So, who are the winners in Group A? The short answer is all of them. Each team -- Russia, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland -- will feel like they can get out of the group. Russia against Ukraine should be interesting, given their history, while the Czech Republic and Greece will think they can spring a surprise or two.

1804 GMT -- Twitter: @cesc4official Spain and Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas: "Italy, Ireland and Croatia. Difficult group."

1800 GMT -- Twitter: @LaurensJulien from Le Parisien newspaper: "I knew France and England would face each other !!!"

1754 GMT -- After all that it took just 13 minutes to draw all the teams out and complete the list of groups. Some very interesting matches to look forward to, not least Ireland v Italy, which sees Giovanni Trapattoni lead the Republic against his home nation, who he led to the 2002 World Cup.

1753 GMT -- Last out are England and they slot into Group D with Ukraine, Sweden and France

1752 GMT -- Next out are Italy, so they join Spain, Croatia and Ireland in Group C.

1752 GMT -- Right, no rest for the wicked so on we go. Next out are Germany -- they join Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal in Group B.

1751 GMT -- So, next in Group A are Russia, who will be delighted with that draw. They join Poland, Greece and the Czech Republic.

1750 GMT -- Drawn now are Sweden. They go into Group D with Ukraine and France.

1749 GMT -- On to Croatia. They join Spain and Ireland in Group C.

1748 GMT -- Next out of the hat are Portugal. They will be in Group B with Denmark and the Netherlands.

1746 GMT -- Past the halfway stage now and the next team out are Greece, the champions in 2004. They will be in Group A with Poland and the Czech Republic.

1745 GMT -- Next to be drawn is France -- the team many wanted to avoid. They will be in Group D with Ukraine, a draw they will no doubt be happy with.

1744 GMT -- Moving swiftly on, the Republic of Ireland are out next and they will be in Spain's Group C.

1743 GMT -- Next out is Denmark -- they will be in Group B with the Netherlands.

1742 GMT -- Now UEFA do Pot Four first, and then assign them individually. So the Czech Republic are out first and they will be in Group A with Poland.

1741 GMT -- Right here we go. First out of the hat is Netherlands. Fitting as it was drawn by Marco Van Basten. Netherlands are in Group B and Spain are in Group C.

1740 GMT -- Right, so Poland are in Group A and Ukraine are in Group D. On the left hand side of the page we will be updating the groups as they are drawn.

1738 GMT -- We are nearing the draw -- UEFA are just explaining now how the draw works. Each team is drawn out of the hat, then assigned to a group.

1736 GMT -- There is now a tribute to Gary Speed, the manager of the Wales national team, who took his own life on Sunday. Here is CNN's story about his death and a picture gallery of his career.

1733 GMT -- UEFA's president Michel Platini, who is also the leading scorer in European Championships history, has just been invited on stage in Kiev, clutching the all-important trophy the 16 teams will be playing for.

1731 GMT -- Pedro Pinto is preparing to go live on air in Kiev for CNN World Sport. Here he is preparing for the show.

1728 GMT -- Legendary Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka, who won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, has just brought the official tournament match ball onto the stage in Kiev.

1726 GMT -- There are four stadiums in each country that will host games. Poland's newly built National Stadium in Warsaw will stage the opening game, while the PGE Arena in Gdansk and the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw have also been constructed specially for the tournament. Poznan's Municipal Stadium will also host games. In Ukraine, Kiev's Olympic Stadium has the honor of the final, while the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv and the brand new Lviv Arena will also stage games.

1724 GMT -- Apparently, in the rehearsal for the draw Fabio Capello's England drew Poland, Sweden and France. I think England would be happy with that if it comes out in the draw proper in a few minutes.

1722 GMT -- In Kiev a series of legends past from European Championships history are being introduced to the crowd including Dutch striker Marco Van Basten, who scored one of the most memorable goals in the tournament's history during his team's win in 1988, Oliver Bierhoff who scored the winner for Germany against the Czech Republic in 1996 and now Zinedine Zidane, part of the French team that won Euro 2000.

1718 GMT -- Twitter: @sneijder101010 Netherlands and Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder: Watching the final draw for the Euro 2012. #EURO2012

1716 GMT -- If you want to get involved on Twitter you can follow the CNN family on the following links @WorldSportCNN. Our anchors are here: @pedrocnn -- @donriddellCNN -- @alexthomascnn. For any questions or comments for yours truly, follow your Tweets with #cnneuro2012

1712 GMT -- Twitter: @cesc4official Spain and Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas: "In front of the TV ready to watch the draw for the European Championship 2012. Some groups r going to be very tough. Lets c who Spain gets!"

1710 GMT -- There is huge potential for a so-called group of death - a nickname for a group that consists of strong teams. Due to the way the draw is seeded there could be a group that consists of Spain, Germany, Portugal and France. If that were to be pulled out of the hat, it would qualify as one of the meatiest groups of death in the tournament's history.

1706 GMT -- Twitter: @LaurensJulien from Le Parisien newspaper: "Lets get ready for the draw!! France are in danger to be in a massive group of death!"

1703 GMT -- And so it is off to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, where the gathered delegates are being entertained by the Pavlo Virsky Ukrainian National Folk Dance Ensemble. A very jaunty affair full of color and pirouettes.

1701 GMT -- One team from each pot will be drawn into each group. We already know that Poland are in Group A, and Ukraine are in Group D. They are drawn early so their fixtures can be organized ahead of time.

1659 GMT -- Finally, France are the biggest fish in the lowest pot, such is their current world ranking. None of the teams in the first three pots will want to come up against Laurent Blanc's side, who won the European Championships in 1984 and 2000. They are joined by the Republic of Ireland, who have made it for only the second time in their history. Denmark and the Czech Republic make up the final four.

1654 GMT -- Pot Three consists of Croatia and Portugal, both of whom had to come through the playoffs to book their place, Greece, who famously upset the odds to win in 2004, and Sweden.

1650 GMT -- Lurking in Pot Two are Germany, who have won the European Championships three times, Italy, who won in 1968, England, who are yet to win the competition in their history, and Russia, who lifted the trophy in 1960 as the Soviet Union.

1645 GMT -- Let's start with nuts and bolts, the 16 teams who have qualified and which of the four 'pots' they will be drawn from. Pot One consists of our co-hosts Poland and Ukraine, as well as Spain, the world champions, and Netherlands, the team that Spain beat in the 2010 World Cup final.

1630 GMT -- Good afternoon all, Chris Murphy here to guide you through the ins and outs of the Euro 2012 draw, the day when we'll get answers to a number of questions, most pertinently, will we see a group of death to end all groups of death?

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