UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits
|Latvia||Daugava - RigaSaturday 13 October 2018|
18.00CET (19.00 local time) Group D1 - Matchday 3
|13/10/2015||QR (GS)||Latvia - Kazakhstan||0-1||Riga||Kuat 65|
|09/09/2014||QR (GS)||Kazakhstan - Latvia||0-0||Astana|
Last updated 10/10/2018 15:24CET
|12||Kaspars Ikstens||05/06/1988||30||Rīgas FS||-||0||0|
|2||Vitālijs Maksimenko||08/12/1990||27||Olimpija Ljubljana||-||1||0|
|3||Gints Freimanis||09/05/1985||33||Spartaks Jūrmala||-||0||0|
|4||Kaspars Dubra||20/12/1990||27||Rīgas FS||-||2||0|
|5||Aleksandrs Solovjovs||25/02/1988||30||Rīgas FS||-||1||0|
|13||Vjačeslavs Isajevs||27/08/1993||25||Rīgas FS||*||1||0|
|8||Aleksandrs Fertovs||16/06/1987||31||Rīgas FS||-||2||0|
|18||Roberts Savaļnieks||04/02/1993||25||Rīgas FS||-||1||0|
Last updated 13/10/2018 00:31CET
Date of birth: 3 February 1967
Playing career: Valkeakosken Haka, Dundee United, Aberdeen, Bolton, Wolves, Hibernian (twice), Strasbourg, Saint Johnstone, Saint Mirren
Coaching career: Cowdenbeath, TPS Turku, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Finland, Dundee United, Ubon UMT United, Latvia
• The son of Finnish international forward Matti Paatelainen, Mixu began his playing career at Haka in Valkeakoski before starting a long association with Scotland in 1987, joining Dundee United. A powerful striker who never considered himself a target man despite being much used in the role, Paatelainen spent five years with United and two at Aberdeen before heading south to England in 1994, signing for Bolton.
• Helped the club to promotion to the Premier League and the English League Cup final in his first term. Although relegation followed a year later, Paatelainen won another promotion before leaving for a single season at Wolves in 1997/98.
• Headed back to Scotland and Hibernian in 1998, breaking for a short and injury-plagued spell at Strasbourg in 2001/02. The final campaign of his playing days, which also featured 18 goals in 70 games for Finland, was at St Mirren in 2004/05, when he also worked as the club's assistant manager.
• Took charge of Cowdenbeath in 2005, securing the side's first divisional title in 67 years in his only full season. Also a success during a solitary campaign at TPS, in January 2008 he earned his first top-flight assignment with Hibernian. Left Easter Road in May 2009, later returning to management at Kilmarnock before being appointed Finland coach in March 2011.
• Having missed out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Finland, Paatelainen was sacked in June 2015; returned to Scotland and Dundee United that October but unable to prevent the club's relegation at the end of the campaign, prompting his departure. After a short spell in Thailand, appointed Latvia coach in May 2018.
Date of birth: 13 February 1967
Playing career: Haskovo, Levski Sofia (three times), Fenerbahçe, CSKA Sofia, Campomaiorense, Slavia Sofia
Coaching career: Levski Sofia, Bulgaria (twice), Litex Lovech, Anorthosis Famagusta, Botev Plovdiv, Astana, Kazakhstan
• A stellar name at Levski, Stoilov had three spells at the club, ending his senior career there after amassing four league titles plus five Bulgarian Cups. Started out as a midfielder but later moved up front and, towards the end of his career, into defence. Scored three goals in 14 international appearances for Bulgaria, two of them on his debut in September 1992 in a friendly against Turkey, where he had just arrived to play for Fenerbahçe.
• Captain and assistant coach at Levski in his later years, he was appointed head coach in 2004. In four seasons in charge won two league titles, two national cups and became the first man to lead a Bulgarian club into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
• Stood in as caretaker national team coach in June 2007 following Hristo Stoichkov's resignation. Sacked by Levski in May 2008, he joined Litex and took them to victory in the Bulgarian Cup, having in the meantime also been appointed Bulgaria coach. Left Litex in August 2009 to concentrate solely on the national side but missed out on 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification and resigned in September 2010.
• Took over the Botev Plovdiv reins midway through 2012/13 and led the side into the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round in 2013/14 as well as steering them to the Bulgarian Cup final. He then joined Astana in June 2014 and oversaw the club's maiden Kazakh title later that year, before navigating their route through 2015/16 UEFA Champions League qualifying to seal Kazakhstan's first ever group stage spot.
• Further league titles followed in 2015, 2016 – when Astana also won the domestic cup – and 2017, when Stoilov was named Bulgaria's coach of the year; under him, Astana also reached the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2016/17 and 2017/18 round of 32. Stepped down from his club commitments at the end of 2017 to take the reins of the Kazakhstan national side.
|Name||Date of birth||UEFA matches|
No such matches refereed
|22/07/2010||UEL||2QR||FK Teteks||FK Ventspils||3-1||Skopje|
Last updated 11/10/2018 11:44CET
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 10/10/2018 15:33CET