Euro 2016: Host France to open against Romania in Stade de France

    Story highlights

    • Euro 2016 draw takes place in Paris
    • Host France to open against Romania
    • Holder Spain in Group D
    • England and Wales paired in Group B

    (CNN)Host France will open Euro 2016 against Romania as the draw for the 24-team tournament was made Saturday in Paris.

    The Stade de France, targeted in the Paris attacks last month, will be the venue for the first match as well as the final on July 10.
      The draw at Le Palais des Congres in the French capital was held amid tight security as the representatives of the participating nations learned their opponents for next summer's finals.
      Albania and Switzerland will be joining the French and Romania in Group A -- one of six with four teams apiece.
      Romania striker Claudiu Keseru, who spent 11 seasons playing in France, told the official UEFA website that the draw was a dream come true.
      "To face France in the opening match, when the whole world will be watching, is something fantastic. The pressure is on them. For us it's only an extra motivation," he said.
      Defending champion Spain was paired again with Croatia in Group D, having secured a 1-0 victory at the same stage in 2012 on the way to a second straight European Championship crown.
      Joining them in the section will be the Czech Republic and Turkey.
      "Croatia have extraordinary players that play in the best teams in Europe and we saw their value in the last European Championships," warned Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.
      2014 World Cup winner Germany will come up against Poland, who it faced in qualification for next year's tournament, Ukraine and Northern Ireland in Group C.
      "We are the favorites and we want to win the group," said German coach Joachim Low.
      The toughest competition of the six groups of four teams looks to be Group B, where FIFA-ranked number one Belgium, 2012 runner-up Italy, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland will battle it out.
      The draw has also thrown up a 'Battle of Britain" with England paired with Wales in Group B, alongside Russia and Slovakia.
      Group F sees Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal matched against Iceland, Austria and Hungary.
      Eight teams will be eliminated ahead of the round of 16 knockout stages.
      The draw was conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, with assistance from a number of leading football stars, including France's David Trezeguet.
      Infantino's boss, UEFA president Michel Platini, was barred from attending the proceedings after he failed Friday to have his 90-day provisional ban from football lifted.
      Platini was suspended in October with current FIFA president Sepp Blatter over allegations of corruption, which both deny.
      Infantino is among the candidates to replace Blatter in the top job in world football, with the 60-year-old Platini still stating his intention to stand.