A fairly balanced draw left the 6,000 dignitaries assembled at the State Kremlin Arena in Moscow with no standout "group of death" to mull over, although some intriguing matchups do lie ahead once the tournament kicks off next summer.
Elsewhere debutantes Iceland were given a fairy-tale opener against Lionel Messi's Argentina in Group D, with defending champion Germany landing in a relatively tough group, paired with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F. Messi's countryman Diego Maradona was one of those assisting host Gary Lineker in the draw, dressed in a dark suit with yellow bow tie.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal - that claimed Euro 2016 - and Spain headline the group but Santos is wary of the threat from the other two sides, that made it through their respective CAF and AFC qualifying campaigns undefeated.
However, since succeeding Vicente del Bosque, Lopetegui has blended the experienced remnants of the World Cup winning side with a host of graduates from the under-21 team he led to a European title in 2013.
If we simply total the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings for each group, France's Group C looks like the toughest group with a combined ranking of 71. "They are going to demand the best of us".
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Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has a lot of admiration for the three countries his team will face in the group stages of the World Cup.
The tournament that spans 11 cities and 12 stadiums will kick off when host nation Russian Federation take on Saudi Arabia on June 14 in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
"I can not say whether I'm happy or not", Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said, after drawing Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.
"Portugal have won an important title and, moreover, very recently".
France and their potent strike force of Antoine Griezmann and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe will play Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C. "They are the champions of Europe and they have fantastic players", Lopetegui told Spanish TV station Cuatro.
Japan face a tough task to finish in the top two of Group H that features Robert Lewandowski's Poland, Senegal and Colombia.