What is the UEFA Nations League and what is its significance?

18/05/2023 Sports news

What is the UEFA Nations League? is a football tournament held every two years between the male national teams of member associations of UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe. This tournament was established with the aim of creating high-level matches and providing motivation for national teams to compete instead of meaningless friendly matches that have been going on for years. So do you know what UEFA Nations League is? If not, you should check out the things you need to know about the Nations League in the article below from Wintips.

What is UEFA Nations League?

Currently, there are many football tournaments organized around the world. These are places for football teams representing each country to exchange and compete against each other. This is also where fans and enthusiasts can passionately pursue their love for football. One of the most exciting football tournaments is the UEFA Nations League. So, what is the UEFA Nations League?

What is the UEFA Nations League?
What is the UEFA Nations League?

UEFA Nations League is a football tournament organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The tournament officially started in September 2018 with a total of 55 national teams representing the 55 member countries participating. In this tournament, the 55 teams are divided into 4 levels of competition: A, B, C, and D. The rankings are based on the UEFA standings. From these 4 levels, each team is further divided into different groups.

This tournament not only helps reduce the number of international friendly matches played by national teams, but it also provides an opportunity for teams that did not qualify for the Euro to participate. Since the Euro only qualifies 20 out of the 24 teams to participate in the finals, the remaining 4 spots will be decided through a playoff round. UEFA Nations League is the tool created to determine the teams competing for those 4 playoff spots.

Specifically, in each division, there will be 1 team that earns a spot through the play-off round. The teams that finish first in each group (if they haven’t already qualified for EURO through the qualifying round) will participate in this round. If the group winner has already qualified, the opportunity will be given to the next team in the group. In the event that any division does not have 4 teams, the remaining spot will be allocated to a team from a different division.

Currently, the French national team is the reigning champion of the UEFA Nations League, having secured a convincing victory over the Spanish national team in the 2021 UEFA Nations League final. Additionally, Portugal was the first team to win this tournament.

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What you need to know about the Nations League tournament

The history of the UEFA Nations League tournament

In October 2013, the President of the Norwegian Football Association, Yngve Hallén, confirmed that discussions were underway regarding a new tournament that would involve all member national football teams of UEFA, but was still in the design phase. The proposed tournament would take place on FIFA international match days, replacing friendly matches and not interfering with the schedule of the World Cup or the European Championship.

The history of the UEFA Nations League tournament
The history of the UEFA Nations League tournament

In March 2014, UEFA Secretary-General Gianni Infantino stated that one of the benefits of the proposal was to help national associations with more consistent fixtures. Football Association president Grey Dyke said the offer was “very attractive”, as England planned to play against top national teams. Royal Belgian football association president Steven Martens also said that lower-placed countries would still benefit from the tournament because tv contracts with UEFA would be centralized.

Shortly thereafter, the UEFA Nations League was adopted by the 54 UEFA member associations (Kosovo was not a member at the time) at the 38th UEFA Games in Astana on 27 March 2014.

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UEFA Nations League competition format

The UEFA Nations League tournament follows a specific format, with 4 different leagues:

  • League A: Reserved for the strongest national teams in Europe, with 12 teams in the first season and now 16 teams participating.
  • League B: Comprises teams ranked from 13-24 in the 2018-19 season. Currently, teams in League B are ranked from 17-32.
  • League C: Includes teams ranked from 25-36 in the 2018-19 season. In the upcoming season, teams with rankings from 33-48 will be in League C.
  • League D: Consists of the weakest national teams in Europe, with 16 teams in the first season and now only 7 teams participating.

Each League will be divided into 4 different groups, with the top teams from each group earning promotion. The top 4 teams from League A will participate in the final tournament for the top 4 strongest teams. The bottom team from each group will be relegated, while the bottom teams from League D will continue to play in this league in the next season.

As we mentioned, although it is a friendly competition, the UEFA Nations League is related to both Euro qualifiers and World Cup qualifiers. The top teams from each group will be given a guaranteed spot in the play-off rounds.

When is the Nations League held and how are points calculated?

The UEFA Nations League will have 6 rounds and one final round. 6 departure and return matches will be held in 2 months from 06/09 – 20/11. The final round will be reserved for the top 4 teams in each group A and will take place in June next year.

When is the Nations League held and how are points calculated?
When is the Nations League held and how are points calculated?

Meanwhile, teams in Leagues B, C, and D will be promoted if they finish first in their respective groups. The rule is that the 4 top-placed teams in the lower league will replace the 4 bottom-placed teams in the higher league. This creates fair competition between teams, as the level of skill between teams is evenly matched in their respective groups.

The reward for the winner of the Nations League

The winner of the Nations League tournament will receive a solid silver trophy, weighing 7.5kg and standing 71cm tall. Additionally, they will receive a prize money of 10.5 million euros, the runner-up will receive 9 million euros, the third-place team will receive 8 million euros, and the fourth-place team will receive 7 million euros.

This amount includes the cost of participating in the tournament as well as the prize money for topping their respective groups in the Nations League group stage.


Above is information about what is the UEFA Nations League and what you need to know about the Nations League tournament that we have sent to our readers. Although the UEFA Nations League is not yet very well-known, its matches attract a large number of viewers and provide unique emotions for fans. To learn more about the upcoming UEFA Nations League tournament, please visit our website. Thank you for your interest and support!

See also: What is the UEFA Champions League? Learn an overview of the European Club Championship C1

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