Pelé had reportedly refused to participate in the draw, for fear of picking out tricky opponents for hosts Brazil. Lothar Matthäus, who acted as one of the "draw fairies", as Bild would have it, naturally had no such qualms.

Yes, there was the usual media talk about a "Todesgruppe" (Group of Death) in the buildup, but it all felt a little forced this time around.

The prevailing mood, unlike that before 2006 and 2010 – when poor friendly results and the injury of Michael Ballack, respectively, had seen Fussballdeutschland fearing an ignominious, early exit – was one of relaxed confidence. "I don't have sleepless nights worrying about a difficult group," the Germany manager Joachim Löw had said on Thursday.

The 53-year-old didn't seem too perturbed after the Costa do Sauípe ceremony either, despite Bild's insistence that Germany had landed a "Hammergruppe" – a pretty tough nut to crack. "Now we know who we play against and where," he said coolly, before stressing his team's need to blank out all distractions like "noise", "hot weather" and the "clocks ticking differently in South America". The sporting director Oliver Bierhoff added that all opponents were beatable and said "there was no need to be unsatisfied: we are favourites".

As far as the opposition goes, it's a rare case of Cristiano Ronaldo taking only second billing. The reunion of Löw and his mentor Jürgen Klinsmann, the USA manager, will provide the biggest talking point over the next six months. The former was the latter's assistant at the 2006 World Cup, and they still had a "very close relationship", Löw admitted.

"It's very special to have him in the same group. Of course, we can't talk about certain things anymore." Klinsmann, for his part, told the German media that the draw "couldn't have been more difficult" and that Group G was a "crazy group", but also radiated characteristic optimism. "We believe we can advance," he said.

While there's a recognition that Portugal will make life difficult in the opener in Salvador, German wins in the last two Euros provide a degree of confidence. It'll be widely noted in the coming months that Cristiano Ronaldo had spoken of his wish to avoid Löw team before the draw.

The match v Ghana, finally, is a repeat of the Boateng brothers' duel from 2010, when Germany won 1-0, thanks to a Mesut Özil goal. "Brother, it's time again," tweeted the Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng at his sibling Jérôme Boateng [Bayern], who turns out for the other side.