As the UEFA Nations League gets under way, UEFA's official magazine looks back at how European national teams held sway at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
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With Europe's national teams gearing up for the opening matches in the new UEFA Nations League, the glorious showing of this continent's representatives at this summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia takes pride of place in the latest edition of UEFA Direct.
Edition No180 of UEFA's official magazine – the last before the publication goes bi-monthly for the November-December issue – runs the rule over a fantastic tournament for teams from this continent, which saw Europe provide six of the eight quarter-finalists and all four semi-finalists, with France finally prevailing against Croatia in a splendid final in Moscow.
The hosts Russia created a positive surprise on home soil by reaching the quarter-finals. UEFA Direct's supplement for the coaching community, The Technician, features an interview with Russia's coach Stanislav Cherchesov, who offers his perspective on his team's fine adventure.
UEFA's #EqualGame campaign continues to champion diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football, and UEFA Direct travels to Portugal for its latest edition. The focus is on Aurio 'Puma' Castro, raised in a tough Lisbon neighbourhood, who is helping change lives and give young people hope through the game.
Another prominent UEFA campaign, Together #WePlayStrong – launched in June 2017 – aims to increase participation levels among girls and women. UEFA Direct looks at the campaign's impact, and how UEFA is striving to keep young girls in the game, instead of gravitating towards other activities.
UEFA has implemented an exciting new strategy for futsal – which includes the introduction of two new competitions – the UEFA Women's Futsal EURO and the European Under-19 Futsal Championship. In addition, UEFA's major club futsal competition, the UEFA Futsal Cup, has been renamed the UEFA Futsal Champions League. UEFA Direct examines how these measures are destined to raise futsal's profile and generate increased public awareness of the sport.
Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 180
• Grassroots football booms in the Republic of Ireland
• Reviews of the recent UEFA U19 and WU19 finals
• UEFA's GROW programme helps associations develop communication
• News from the UEFA member associations