LUCERNE - World champions Italy were pitted against old foes France in the draw for the Euro 2008 finals made here yesterday.
The pair, who clashed in last year's World Cup final and again in qualifying for next year's European championships, were joined by the Netherlands and Romania in Group C, the dreaded group of death.
France manager Raymond Domenech's face dropped when Italy's name was drawn while Italian manager Roberto Donadoni sported a resigned smile.
The opening match in Basel sees Switzerland face former winners the Czech Republic.
Three-time European champions Germany appeared to be dealt a favourable enough hand with competition debutants Poland and Austria, the joint-hosts, and Croatia in their group.
Holders Greece will come up against Spain, Russia and Sweden.
The June 7-29 competition is being co-hosted in Austria and Switzerland with matches being staged in eight cities - Basle, Zurich, Berne and Geneva, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, and Vienna's Ernst-Happel stadium where the final will be played.
France and Italy have proved virtually inseparable recently, the pair's paths crossing in Berlin in June last year with the World Cup final which the Azzurri won on penalties after Zinedine Zidane's sending off.
Then again in Euro 2008 qualifying where the pair edged through their group at the main expense of Scotland.- Sapa-AFP