In photos: Legends, coaches and many others turn up in Moscow for 2018 FIFA World Cup draw
The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw was led by former England striker and 1986 World Cup Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker along with Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.
The 32 teams were equally divided into four pots. The draw took place in the main hall in the State Kremlin Palace. Among the assistants for the draw were former greats of the footballing world Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Gordon Banks.
Getting things underway though was none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin said, “Russia has a passion for football and has had many outstanding players over many generations.
"The most coveted trophy will be won by the team showing the most resilience. I would like to wish success to all the teams and I call upon all loyal fans to come to Russia and enjoy the finals of 2018.”
Thereafter, the draw assistants were brought on to the stage and lined up behind their allocated lecterns. The eight legends – one per group - who assisted with the draw were England goalkeeping great Gordon Banks, France’s Laurent Blanc, Cafu of Brazil, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Argentina legend Diego Maradona, Spain’s Carles Puyol, Nikita Simonya of Russia and Uruguayan Diego Forlan.
All the various coaches turned up in the freezing weather in Moscow to find out their fate in the World Cup.
The tournament will begin on 14 June and involve 64 matches being places across 11 host cities. The final will take place in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on 15 July.