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National team game in focus – UEFA Direct 182 out now

The special appeal of national team football – reflected by the UEFA Nations League and UEFA EURO 2020 – takes pride of place in edition No 182 of UEFA's official magazine UEFA Direct.

Much to read and enjoy in UEFA Direct 182
Much to read and enjoy in UEFA Direct 182 ©UEFA

National team football is crucial to the European football landscape – and UEFA Direct gives pride of place to this enduring sector of the game in its latest edition.

No 182 of UEFA’s official magazine celebrates an exciting start to UEFA’s new national team competition, the UEFA Nations League, which hit the ground running in a gripping and entertaining inaugural league phase that thrilled fans through the autumn.

With promotion, relegation and UEFA EURO 2020 places on the line, the accent was on excitement and drama, and UEFA Direct looks back at a host of memorable moments that has eventually left four teams – England, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland – relishing the prospect of further success at the finals week in Portugal in June.

Meanwhile, the road to UEFA EURO 2020 is officially open, following the qualifying competition draw ceremony in Dublin in December. With an eagerly-awaited final round – to be staged in 12 cities across Europe – now approaching over the horizon, UEFA Direct explains how the qualifiers will work.

With no host countries qualifying automatically for the 2020 tournament, all 55 UEFA member associations will be taking part in the qualifiers, which means that there will be everything to play for over the coming months. UEFA Direct looks at the qualifying group prospects, and which teams look likely to reach the finals in two years’ time.

A group of UEFA’s smaller national associations are playing competition matches in brand new kits this season. UEFA Direct examines how UEFA’s Kit Assistance Scheme has helped to give these associations a brand new look and heightened feelings of pride when they take the field.

UEFA’s #EqualGame campaign continues to champion diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football. The focus falls in the latest edition on Gary Messett, a talented cerebral palsy footballer from the Republic of Ireland, while Frida Andersson, a figurehead of the Växjo DFF women’s club in Sweden, explains the challenges facing female leaders in football.

FC Salzburg have big ambitions, and UEFA Direct’s coaching supplement, The Technician, turns the spotlight on the Austrian club’s coach Marco Rose, who led the team to last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-finals. Previously, Rose was coach of the Salzburg side that won the UEFA Youth League in 2017. The German tells us how he negotiated the jump from youth to senior level, and how he won’t be afraid to give young players the chance to make their names in Salzburg’s first team.

The UEFA Foundation for Children enjoyed a memorable 2018 supporting children’s rights. The total number of initiatives in Europe and beyond supported by the foundation since its launch in 2015 now numbers 180. UEFA Direct looks in depth at the foundations tireless work, new initiatives and projects for the future.

Elsewhere in UEFA Direct No 182

• A new football leadership and management programme

• Preview of the first UEFA Women’s Futsal EURO finals

• A study into referee abuse in France, England and the Netherlands

• 20 years of the UEFA Coaching Convention

UEFA Direct is available to read in English, French and German