Italy have been handed a tough group for the UEFA Euro 2008 finals in Austria & Switzerland after being drawn with the Netherlands, Romania and France in Group C.
The draw for next years tournament was made in the Culture and Convention Centre on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland today.
The full draw
Group A: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Turkey.
Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany and Poland.
Group C: Netherlands, Italy, Romania and France.
Group D: Greece, Sweden, Spain and Russia.
The World champions, as second seeds, always knew they were in danger of being drawn in a 'group of death', as all the top nations were spread across four seeding pots for the draw.
The Netherlands, who finished behind Romania in qualification Group G, were amongst the top seeds.
The Azzurri reached the finals by topping qualification Group B ahead of rivals France, and the all-too familiar rivals have been drawn together again.
The World champions open their tournament against the Dutch - winners in 1988 - on June 9 in Berne. Adrian Mutu's Romania take on Roberto Donadoni's men on June 13 in Zurich and the final group match will be a repeat of the 2006 FIFA World Cup final in Zurich on June 21 against France, who have won the European crown twice in 1984 and in 2000 - against the Azzurri in the final.
Switzerland were already placed in Group A and they have been joined by the Czech Republic, Portugal and Turkey. Co-hosts Austria are drawn with Croatia, Germany and Poland in Group B.
Reigning European champions Greece will play Sweden, Spain and Russia in Group D.
Switzerland will face the Czech Republic in the opening match of the 13th European Championship on 7 June in Basle. The tournament will reach a climax in the Austrian capital of Vienna on 30 June.
The rest of the matches will be held in Swiss cities Berne, Zurich and Geneva and the Austrian host cities of Innsbruck, Klagenfurt and Salzburg.
EURO 2008 DRAW: [Draw in full] - [Match Schedule] - [Reaction] - [Record] - [Azzurri base]