Brussels: Quite simply, a tougher group has not been assembled in the opening round of a tournament since FIFA started its world rankings two decades ago. Not in Europe, and not around the world.
With Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark, four of the world's top 10 teams have been clustered together by the luck of the draw. And with the Germans, the Dutch and the Portuguese, it has three teams from the top five, making Denmark a rank outsider to advance despite its No. 10 ranking.
"We're all aware how difficult our group is," said Portugal coach Paul Bento, who will rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to guide the team through the opening round. "We're aiming to reach the quarterfinals. That's our first goal."