So here we are, watching the draw for the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The 32 teams that have qualified for the finals of one of the world's greatest sporting celebrations are just moments away from learning who their three group opponents will be. The global interest is noticeably slowing the internet as people like me log on to the FIFA website and a host of others to watch the draw happen live.
The worthy survivors of the long qualification process are gathered in Liepzig to witness for themselves the whole show - and show is exactly what it is, with FIFA wheeling out past greats like Franz Beckenbauer and Pele and the whole shebang being hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum and television personality Reinhold Beckmann.
GROUP A: Germany, Ecuador, Poland, Costa Rica.
GROUP B: England, Paraguay, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago.
GROUP C: Argentina, Ivory Coast, Holland, Serbia & Montenegro
GROUP D: Mexico, Angola, Portugal, Iran.
GROUP E: Italy, Ghana, Czech Republic, USA.
GROUP F: Brazil, Australia, Croatia, Japan.
GROUP G: France, Togo, Switzerland, South Korea.
GROUP H: Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia.
Germany v Costa Rica will open the games on 9th June 2006.
This special About Manchester United newsflash is cross-posted to BlogCritics Sports.