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Spain named top seeds for Euro 2012


The Euro 2012 finals' co-hosts Poland and Ukraine have been named among the top seeds.

(CNN) — Defending champions Spain will head the list of group seeds in next month’s draw for the Euro 2012 finals.

The 2010 World Cup winners will be in Pot 1 along with the Netherlands and co-hosts Poland and Ukraine on December 2, European football’s ruling body UEFA announced on Wednesday.

Poland, 28th in the European rankings, will be in Group A and 15th-placed Ukraine in Group D for the 16-team tournament, the last before an expansion to 24 nations.

Pot 2 comprises three-time champions Germany, 1968 winners Italy, England and Russia — who as the Soviet Union won the first tournament held in 1960.

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Greece, the 2004 champions, are the only qualifying group winners in Pot 3, which also features the best runners-up Sweden and playoff winners Portugal and Croatia.

Denmark and two-time champions France won their qualifying groups, but face the prospect of being drawn with two other major nations after being put in Pot 4 due to a low coefficient rating for results over the past few years.

Playoff winners the Republic of Ireland and the Czech Republic are also in the bottom pot.

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Meanwhile, Turkey coach Guus Hiddink has agreed to stand down from his position after failing to qualify from the playoffs.

Tuesday’s 0-0 draw in Croatia meant a 3-0 aggregate defeat for the 65-year-old Dutchman, who won just seven of his 17 matches in charge.

Hiddink ruled out a return to the Netherlands, where he had beenwanted by Ajax, but has been linked with a possible position at his former English club Chelsea.

“I’m not ready to retire, I like to be involved with a team on a daily basis, but maybe I am ready to step out of the limelight a little bit, away from the cameras,” he told Dutch website Voetbal International.

“Hopefully I will still be involved but perhaps it will be as an adviser or a consultant.”






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