On Sunday 5 April, the historic Temple of Luxor provided a magnificent setting for the Final Draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009. Coaches, officials and reporters from around the world were captivated by the breathtaking show and ceremony. FIFA.com summarises reaction to the event.
Jack Warner, FIFA vice-president and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 World Cup
I’m extremely pleased with the draw. We have six evenly-matched groups. I’m sure we’ll see lots of exciting matches. Naturally, it’s a happy coincidence that my home country of Trinidad and Tobago will contest the opening match against host nation Egypt.
Miroslav Soukup, Egypt coach
The groups are all very strong, because every team good enough to qualify for the World Cup has to be strong. I’ve closely followed the qualifying tournaments around the world, and these are all very good teams. We’ll now begin preparing for the various systems used by our group opponents. The whole of Egypt is expecting us to succeed at the tournament. We’ll have to work very hard in the coming months and prepare ourselves for the challenge.
Thomas Rongen, USA coach
We have definitely been drawn into a strong group, perhaps the strongest of the tournament but that poses a great opportunity. Anytime you have the chance to play against teams like Germany, Cameroon and Korea Republic is a chance to showcase American football. At this level you're going to have to play the best teams eventually so we might as well take on some of the best in the group phase.
Brian Eastick, England coach
First of all, I have to give a lot of credit to the Egyptian LOC and to FIFA for a fantastic draw. The setting was magnificent; very unique and exotic and everyone connected with hosting the draw should be congratulated. It's a very difficult draw for us. Obviously, the team that jumps out is Ghana, but Uruguay and Uzbekistan will be very difficult opponents too. We're very much looking forward to the challenge.
Jan Versleijen, Australia coach
It is not an easy group, but you can expect at a World Cup that all matches will be challenging as you have the top countries participating. Brazil has qualified for more FIFA U-20 World Cups than any other nation, and have won the tournament on four occasions. The Czech Republic were runners up in Canada in 2007 and the Costa Ricans are unknown but always produce great players with good skills. Our plan now is to get matches against European and South American opposition in the lead-up to the tournament, which will give our players plenty of experience in time for the opening match.
Zoran Vranes, Trinidad and Tobago coach
We’ve landed in a very tough group, but we’re looking forward to meeting Egypt, Paraguay and Italy. The draw ceremony was perfect – even better than I expected."
Horst Hrubesch, Germany coach
It's a very difficult group. Cameroon have a very skilled team. The US team also has very good players in their squad and Korea won't make it easy for us. Anyway, our goal is to reach the next round."
Hong Myung Bo, Korea Republic coach
This isn’t an easy group. It’ll be very difficult, but we’ll rise to the challenge.
Ronald Gonzalez, Costa Rica coach
We’ve landed in an exotic group with strong opponents. It will be very interesting.
Winston Marumo, South Africa team manager
The draw as a whole has been a fantastic event.
Francisco Flores, Venezuela player
We have two U-20 world champions - Nigeria and Spain, but we cannot rule out Tahiti. It won't be easy, but we have the desire to play a good tournament and show that we deserved to be here.
Luis Milla, Spain coach
Each team will cause us different problems. Venezuela eliminated Argentina, so they qualified for a good reason and football is improving there all the time. Nigeria have very powerful players, very competitive. and Tahití is the team we know least of all, But they will compete with energy and passion.
Sellas Tetteh, Ghana coach
The group is solid, difficult and tough. England will be a huge force to reckon with considering their background. Uruguay and Uzbekistan have good youth football policies so it definitely will be difficult to play them, but we will be ready for them when the competition kicks-off.
Mahdi Ali, UAE coach
We could not have asked for a better group. We hoped to top one of the groups but anyway, we are satisfied with the result of the draw. We should now prepare for the final tournament to make sure we will honour our country.
Francesco Rocca, Italy coach
The groups are quite even. I know I can't make mistakes in the choice of players: I have to take with me motivated and ready-for-the-fight players, because it's a long tournament and because the first opponent will be the heat. I have a bit of time to prepare my team and I will do the best I can, because the goal is to go as far as possible.
Thomas Rongen, USA coach
We have definitely been drawn into a strong group, perhaps the strongest of the tournament but that poses a great opportunity. Anytime you have the chance to play against teams like Germany, Cameroon and Korea Republic is a chance to showcase American football.
Serame Letsoaka, South Africa coach
I think we got a very fair draw. No disrespect to the other teams in our group, but I think we will certainly proceed to the next round because my team has been playing good football lately. We have to go through to the second round and once we are there, anything can happen. What we know is that we have to be ruthless in this tournament, we need to be aggressive on our approach and take our chances.
Emilio Umanzor, Honduras coach
It won't be an easy group. At this stage, any team that we could face will be difficult. If they are in a World Cup, there must be a reason. We should prepare ourselves in the best way to play well. Now that we know our rivals, we'll start to study them. We are not coming to Egypt only to participate, we want to leave our mark.
Gildo Rodrigues, Brazil
First of all, I would like to congratulate the Egyptian LOC and FIFA for the wonderful time we had in Egypt. Brazil will be trying hard to win its fifth U-20 World Cup title. For us the last edition 2007 in Canada was a disaster, so we will come to Egypt to become champions. This is our target and this is why we have been preparing ourselves for the last two years. I know that we will have a strong support from the Egyptian people in Port Said.