Created on 03-09-2012 at 00:00 AM
The EURO is still fresh in the memory, but qualifying for the 2014 World Cup starts now. On Monday, the usual raft of Bayern men joined up with their national teams ready for the first round of European qualifiers over the next 10 days, although by contrast, the South American qualifying contest is already well underway. A total of 13 players are set for action on Friday 7 September and Tuesday 11 September.
Six Munich stars have been called up for Germany's first two fixtures in Group C. Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller are in action on Friday against the Faeroe Islands in Hanover, before travelling to Vienna for the away meeting with Austria, who are without the injured David Alaba.
FCB head-to-head in Group A
Two FCB pros join battle in Group A. Daniel van Buyten and Belgium meet Wales in Cardiff on Friday, while Croatia and Mario Mandzukic entertain Macedonia in Zagreb on the same day. The following Tuesday, the Munich pair go head-to-head in Brussels.
Arjen Robben and the Netherlands open their Group D campaign with a home fixture, taking on Turkey in Amsterdam this Friday. Four days later, the Dutch travel to Budapest for the meeting with Hungary. Summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri and Switzerland open their Group E programme away to Slovenia, before facing Albania in Lucerne next Tuesday.
Home double-header for Pizza
France, who are drawn in Group I, also begin away from home. Franck Ribéry and Co travel to Helsinki for the clash with Finland on Friday, before Belarus visit Paris four days later. Unlike his fellow Bayern stars, there is only one match this time round for Ukraine and their captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, but it is a tough challenge, as the EURO 2012 co-hosts travel to London on 11 September for the Group H meeting with England.
Over in South America, things are not looking particularly rosy for Claudio Pizarro and Peru, who are bottom of the nine-team standings with only three points from five matches so far, although Pizza and company now have two home fixtures. The Peruvians face Venezuela in Lima, before two-time world champions Argentina take on the Blanquirroja on the same ground next Tuesday.