The Three Lions were also handed the tricky proposition of a game with Belgium, who boast what is seen as a golden generation featuring the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, in Kaliningrad in their final Group G game. Now, the country knows what's coming and they can get excited.
"Belgium are the top seeds, so understandably on the performances they have given over the last couple of years, they have that title", he told Sky Sports.
Now 61, he coached his native Colombia at the 1998 World Cup in France.
"But even the draw today will be exciting for the fans".
"It's a hard group but we were expecting a hard draw because if you are in Pot 3, you are going to have some great footballing nations - like Belgium and England".
That was the Carthage Eagles' very first game at the finals but they have failed to win any of their 11 World Cup games since - the longest winless run of any team in Russian Federation next year.
"The interesting thing for us is starting later and what that might mean for us at the end of the season", he said.More news: We Finally Know When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Getting Married
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Belgium's best World Cup finish came in 1986 when they finished fourth, and Martinez believes this sets them as outsiders for the Jules Rimet trophy.
"We've obviously not been following their games in our qualifying phase". "It could help. We've got to get that period of training and recovery and freshness right".
"We have to pay great attention to England and Belgium without forgetting Panama, who could be a surprise".
And that makes them the clear favourites in the eyes of Maaloul.
"I'm sure at some point we will probably do that, but I like the fact that different people have taken and had to take responsibility", he added.
"So, I like the fact that's been shared and I think it's important for us, especially with the younger groups, that they get a feel of that and that they get a feel of responsibility".