PARIS, December 12- The Euro 2016 draw pitted England against Wales and Germany against Poland in two spotlight groups at the championships.
“England, Slovakia and Russia! Will be incredible, bring it on!!” said Wales defender Ben Davies on Twitter as he launched the countdown to the crunch Group B match between the British nations at Lens on June 16.
England manager Roy Hodgson paid tribute to the work of his Wales counterpart Chris Coleman in lifting the principality.
“Chris and Wales have done so well.
“Whatever team we got from pot four it would have been tough, so we might as well play someone close to home.
“Wales are very well organised, have a team spirit and very strong spine with Ashley Williams, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale — top class European players,” he added.
“Russia and Slovakia will be interesting. I have not come across either of those two teams in my international management before.
“There will be plenty of research between now and June and we can find out as much as we can before the campaign.”
Coleman said: “It’s going to a great game between two good teams. To win 10 games like they (England) did in the qualifying campaign is a fantastic return.
“England are one of the best teams, but we’re looking forward to it. When you get to a tournament, it’s that 90 minutes and you’ve got to get it right.”
World Cup winners Germany head Group C and will have to take on Poland — who they also faced in qualifying — Northern Ireland and Ukraine.
Poland and Germany each won one game during their qualifying campaign battles for the tournament in France next year.
Defending champions Spain will have to take on Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia in Group D.
Group E could be the most difficult to get one of the top two places however with Belgium and Italy taking on Republic of Ireland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden.
“A hard but great group for Belgium,” said Manchester City and Belgium skipper Vincent Kompany on Twitter. “The atmosphere in those games will be incredible.”
“It’s a tough group,” added his teammate Alex Witsel.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will take on Iceland, Austria and Hungary in Group F.
Hosts France play the tournament’s curtain raiser on June 10 against Group A opponents Romania. They will also have to face Albania and Switzerland.
The final is on July 10 at the Stade de France in Paris.
FULL EURO 2016 DRAW
France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland
England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia
Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland
Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia
Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden
Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary
Note: Tournament being played in France from June 10-July 10, 2016