UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits
|Belgium||King Baudouin Stadium - BrusselsFriday 12 October 2018|
20.45CET (20.45 local time) Group A2 - Matchday 3
|11/10/1989||QR (GS)||Switzerland - Belgium||2-2||Basel||Knup 50, Türkyilmaz 59; Degryse 57, Geiger 71 (og)|
|19/10/1988||QR (GS)||Belgium - Switzerland||1-0||Brussels||Vervoort 29|
|09/11/1983||PR (GS)||Switzerland - Belgium||3-1||Berne||Schällibaum 23, Brigger 75, Geiger 89; Vandenbergh 63|
|06/10/1982||PR (GS)||Belgium - Switzerland||3-0||Brussels||Lüdi 2 (og), Coeck 48, Vandenbergh 82|
|20/05/1961||QR (GS)||Switzerland - Belgium||2-1||Lausanne||Ballaman 8, 16; Claessen 83|
|20/11/1960||QR (GS)||Belgium - Switzerland||2-4||Brussels||Van Himst 24, Paeschen 80; Antenen 21, 48, 78, Schneiter 44|
Last updated 11/10/2018 15:08CET
|1||Thibaut Courtois||11/05/1992||26||Real Madrid||-||1||0|
|4||Vincent Kompany||10/04/1986||32||Man. City||-||1||0|
|7||Hans Vanaken||24/08/1992||26||Club Brugge||-||0||0|
|8||Marouane Fellaini||22/11/1987||30||Man. United||-||0||0|
|9||Romelu Lukaku||13/05/1993||25||Man. United||-||1||2|
|11||Yannick Carrasco||04/09/1993||25||Dalian Yifang||-||1||0|
|21||David von Ballmoos||30/12/1994||23||Young Boys||-||0||0|
|15||Christian Fassnacht||11/11/1993||24||Young Boys||-||0||0|
|18||Djibril Sow||06/02/1997||21||Young Boys||-||1||0|
|19||Mario Gavranović||24/11/1989||28||Dinamo Zagreb||-||0||0|
Last updated 12/10/2018 11:24CET
Date of birth: 13 July 1973
Playing career: Real Zaragoza, Balaguer, Wigan, Motherwell, Walsall, Swansea, Chester City
Coaching career: Swansea, Wigan, Everton, Belgium
• Born in Catalonia, Martínez started out at youth level with home-town club Balaguer before joining Zaragoza aged 16. The bulk of his three years there were spent in the youth and B teams, with a solitary appearance for the senior side before he returned to Balaguer in 1994, also running the club's football school.
• Moved to England and Wigan in 1995, forming the 'Three Amigos' with fellow Spaniards Jesús Seba and Isidro Díaz; over the next six years, helped the club win the third division title in 1997 and the Football League trophy two years later. A year with both Motherwell and Walsall preceded a lengthier spell at Swansea between 2003 and 2006, Martínez helping the club to promotion to the third tier. After a season with Chester, he returned to south Wales in 2007, initially as player-manager before quickly hanging up his boots.
• Guided Swansea to the League One championship in 2008 before leaving for Premier League Wigan the following year. Inspired an unlikely escape from relegation in 2011/12 and landed the Latics' first major trophy with victory against Manchester City FC in the FA Cup final 12 months later – although three days after that landmark triumph, Wigan were relegated.
• Martínez remained a man in demand and was appointed Everton manager in June 2013, steering the club to fifth place with their record Premier League points tally in his first term. Everton reached the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 16 and both domestic cup semi-finals in the next campaign, but indifferent league form meant Martínez was dismissed in May 2016.
• Appointed Belgium coach three months later in the wake of Marc Wilmots' departure and led the side to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Belgium ultimately finishing third in Russia – their highest ever placing.
Date of birth: 15 August 1963
Playing career: Sarajevo (twice), Rudar Ljubija, Koper, Chur 97 (twice), Sion, Martigny-Sports, Bellinzona (twice), Locarno
Coaching career: Bellinzona (twice), Malcantone Agno, Lugano, Young Boys, Samsunspor, Sion, Lazio, Switzerland
• Started his career in midfield with Sarajevo, losing in the 1983 Yugoslavian Cup final but featuring twice as his team took the 1984/85 league title, the only major honour of his playing days. Moved to Switzerland in 1987, playing for second-tier Chur and then ascending to the top flight with Sion in 1988/89; returned to the second division to represent Martigny, Bellinzona and Locarno.
• Petković hung up his boots in 1999, aged 36, following a season as player-coach at Bellinzona. Then led Malcantone Agno to promotion from the third divison in 2002/03 before becoming the first coach of AC Lugano – successors to FC Lugano.
• Rejoined Bellinzona in October 2005, steering them to the 2007/08 Swiss Cup final, where they lost 4-1 to Basel, but consolation came two weeks later as victory in a relegation/promotion play-off against St Gallen gave Bellinzona a Super League berth.
• Was appointed Young Boys coach in August 2008, guiding them to second-placed finishes in his first two campaigns in charge as well as the 2008/09 Swiss Cup final. After short spells in charge of Turkey's Samsunspor and Sion back in Switzerland, was named Lazio coach in June 2012 and won the Coppa Italia in his first term in Italy, also helping the side to seventh position in the final standings.
• Left in January 2014 after being appointed Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's successor, taking the reins after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Promptly guided his charges to UEFA EURO 2016, where they lost to Poland in the last 16, and to the same stage of the 2018 World Cup, where they were beaten by Sweden.
|Name||Date of birth||UEFA matches|
|Antonio Mateu Lahoz||12/03/1977||0||59|
No such matches refereed
|23/08/2012||UEL||PO||KSC Lokeren OV||FC Viktoria Plzeň||2-1||Brussels|
|06/08/2013||UCL||3QR||Grasshopper Club Zürich||Olympique Lyonnais||0-1||Zurich|
|26/08/2015||UCL||PO||Club Brugge||Manchester United FC||0-4||Bruges|
|17/03/2016||UEL||R16||RSC Anderlecht||FC Shakhtar Donetsk||0-1||Brussels|
Last updated 11/10/2018 15:07CET
The rejuvenation of national team football – and the UEFA Nations League – stems from the desire of UEFA and its 55 member associations to improve the quality and standing of national team football. UEFA and its associations wanted more sporting meaning in national team football, with associations, coaches, players and supporters increasingly of the opinion that friendly matches are not providing adequate competition for national teams.
Extensive consultation and discussions started as far back as the 2011 UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus and continued at a series of Top Executive Programme (TEP) meetings over the following three years. The UEFA Nations League was unanimously adopted at the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Astana on 27 March 2014.
Group A1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group A2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group A3: Portugal, Italy, Poland
Group A4: Spain, England, Croatia
Group B1: Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
Group B2: Russia, Sweden, Turkey
Group B3: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Group B4: Wales, Republic of Ireland, Denmark
Group C1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group C2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group C3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group C4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania
Group D1: Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group D2: Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova, San Marino
Group D3: Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo
Group D4: FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar
The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:
The changes to UEFA EURO qualifying will make it more streamlined. The equation is now simple: ten groups with the top two teams in each group qualifying automatically, and the other four places being awarded to European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League will be in contention.
The UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.
But the key principle of the qualifiers remains: that every team can play every team.
The European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 commence in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. In total, there will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams (ten groups in all) playing over ten matchdays (the same number as now). The winner and runner-up in each of the ten groups will qualify automatically for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament (June 2020).
Within each league (A, B, C and D), the overall ranking will be calculated based on position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points, coefficient ranking.
National associations and coaches, in consultations with UEFA, revealed that they feel that friendly internationals are not providing adequate sporting competition. The UEFA Nations League creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football.
Top teams can also aspire to take part in the UEFA Nations League Finals, a new top-level event.
For middle-ranking and smaller nations, the UEFA Nations League will offer an extra way to qualify for UEFA EURO final tournaments. Lower-tier countries – the bottom 16 in the rankings – are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying slots for UEFA EURO.
Lower-ranking teams who have struggled against sides ranked considerably higher than them will now get the chance to take part in balanced matches. Teams do not learn and progress by repeatedly losing; now some sides will start winning.
While the UEFA Nations League will replace most friendly internationals, there will still be space in the calendar for friendlies, especially for top teams who may want to face opposition from outside Europe as they will be in groups of three teams.
Associations and teams benefit from clarity of the fixture calendar, and there is now a clear buffer between the end of the UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup, and vice versa, as well as stability of income.
Supporters more than most realise that most friendlies fail to deliver competitive and meaningful football. Now they will have the opportunity to see their teams play in more competitive matches, take part in a new competition and get a second chance to qualify for the major tournaments.
In every even year there are World Cup or UEFA EURO champions; now in every odd year there will be a UEFA Nations League winners. Football is about competition and now, just like in club football, there will be a national team champion at the close of every season.
No: the UEFA Nations League and European Qualifiers will adhere to the existing agreed international match calendar. UEFA is always keen to preserve the balance between club and international football. The new competition should, in fact, reduce demands on players and clubs with less travel envisaged for friendly games while national teams will be playing more consistently at their own level. With double-header matchweeks, players will even go back to their clubs earlier than is currently the case.
No, finances are not a driver for the new competition. However, the competition will have the same centralised media rights as have recently been introduced for all European Qualifiers so associations will have even more stability in their income.
There will certainly be fewer friendly internationals and undoubtedly fewer meaningless friendlies. However, there will still be space in the calendar for friendly internationals – particularly warm-up matches for final tournaments. UEFA is also keen that European teams will still have the chance to play opponents from other confederations.
Last updated 11/10/2018 15:07CET