** Diego Forlan (Uruguay forward)*: “In comparison with what other teams have got, it’s the hardest group of this World Cup. But you have to play the matches and at the last World Cup we were in a very complicated group but came through well.”
* Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez was absent from the draw because of back surgery.
Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica): “We will not be afraid of any opponents just because they have a greater weight of football history. Our fans should know that they do not have to be afraid for us: We have peace of mind that we will prepare in the best possible way to do a great job.”
Roy Hodgson (England): “It’s a tough group no doubt about that. We’ve almost got two top seeds in our group, with Italy and Uruguay. Our great advantage is being based in Rio – meaning that we’ve only got that one really long trip. After Manaus we’re back in our neck of the woods, so to speak.
“I’m very positive, you just never know. You don’t win football matches on paper, you go out on each occasion 11v11. If you’re well prepared you’ve got a chance to win all three of the games.
“The most important thing is that we are here. We are in an interesting group, there is no doubt about that. We have some top quality opponents so the three matches we play will be very exciting. They will attract big audiences all around the world.”
Cesare Prandelli (Italy): “We have drawn three champions of the world but we are not worried. When the media tell you it’s an easy group, that’s when you have to worry. I’m worried only about the conditions because no matter who you are up against, you’re going to have to deal with the weather.
“We’ve already played in the Cofederations Cup though, so we know what it’s like to play in these conditions. Our toughest opponents? Costa Rica, because we do not know a lot about them.”
# # # #