England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted his side face a testing World Cup campaign after being drawn with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in one of the tournament's toughest groups.
"It is difficult," he said. "There is no doubt with Uruguay and Italy we have almost got two number one seeds in our group.
"Italy were very unlucky not to be seeded in the first eight. Of course we know how good they are because we lost to them on penalties in the quarter-finals of the European Championships.
"The good thing is that we know each other and the other thing in our favour is that the game we have got in the north, where the conditions are going to be tough climatically, is against another European team so we are both going to be in the same boat."
FA chairman Greg Dyke underlined the difficulty England face when television pictures appeared to show him making a cut-throat gesture as Hodgson's side were drawn out.
Opinions on social media have been mixed on England's chances...
England.. Awww— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 6, 2013
Tough group...but so what? If we want to win it we will have to play the best teams anyway!!— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) December 6, 2013
Tough looking group for England but some exciting games to look forward to... Portugal-Germany and Spain-Holland in particular— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) December 6, 2013
Roy Hodgson's reaction to that draw... pic.twitter.com/BFENNkSLGX— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 6, 2013
Suarez going to chew England up and spit em out #WorldCupDraw— padraic maher (@podzo21) December 6, 2013
Doom mongers out in force! Tough group but I'd still fancy us to qualify.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) December 6, 2013
But in the other contender for 'Group of Death', Holland's Nigel De Jong and Spain's Gerard Pique are staying positive...