UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits
|Bulgaria||Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski - SofiaSaturday 13 October 2018|
20.45CET (21.45 local time) Group C3 - Matchday 3
|10/10/2009||QR (GS)||Cyprus - Bulgaria||4-1||Larnaca||Charalambides 11, 20, Konstantinou 58, Aloneftis 78; Berbatov 44|
|01/04/2009||QR (GS)||Bulgaria - Cyprus||2-0||Sofia||Popov 8, Makriev 90|
|02/04/1997||QR (GS)||Bulgaria - Cyprus||4-1||Sofia||Borimirov 2, Kostadinov 35, 45, Yordanov 66; Okkas 62|
|14/12/1996||QR (GS)||Cyprus - Bulgaria||1-3||Limassol||Pittas 29; Kostadinov 23, Balakov 34, Iliev 70|
|18/11/1973||QR (GS)||Bulgaria - Cyprus||2-0||Sofia||Kolev 2, Denev 68|
|19/11/1972||QR (GS)||Cyprus - Bulgaria||0-4||Lyssi||Mihaylov 2, Bonev 16, Denev 19, 77|
Last updated 10/10/2018 15:26CET
|1||Georgi Petkov||14/03/1976||42||Slavia Sofia||-||0||0|
|13||Blagoy Makendzhiev||11/07/1988||30||Cherno More||-||0||0|
|15||Vasil Bozhikov||02/06/1988||30||Slovan Bratislava||-||1||0|
|7||Georgi Kostadinov||07/09/1990||28||Arsenal Tula||-||2||0|
|8||Todor Nedelev||07/02/1993||25||Botev Plovdiv||-||1||0|
|10||Ivelin Popov||26/10/1987||30||Spartak Moskva||*||2||0|
|18||Galin Ivanov||15/04/1988||30||Slavia Sofia||-||1||0|
|9||Radoslav Vasilev||12/10/1990||28||Cherno More||-||1||1|
|22||Urko Pardo||28/01/1983||35||Alki Oroklini||-||1||0|
|19||Kostas Laifis||19/05/1993||25||Standard Liège||*||2||0|
|14||Onisiforos Roushias||15/07/1992||26||AEK Larnaca||-||1||0|
|-||Ran Ben Simon||28/11/1970||47||-||2||0|
Last updated 13/10/2018 01:09CET
Date of birth: 26 February 1964
Playing career: Osum Lovech, Levski Sofia, Hamburg, Eintracht Frankfurt
Coaching career: Slavia Sofia, Eintracht Frankfurt II, Wolfsburg II, Chernomorets Pomorie, Botev Plovdiv, Beroe Stara Zagora
• Made debut for Bulgaria while playing in the second tier in a friendly against Greece in 1984, the first of 35 caps. Hubchev was one of the mainstays of the great Bulgaria side that reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. He also played at EURO '96.
• Hubchev came through the ranks of Osum Lovech (now known as Litex Lovech). He was a right-back before establishing himself as a central defender.
• In 1989 he moved to Levski, winning the league and cup double in 1993 before departing at the end of that year for Hamburg. In 1996 he moved on to Eintracht, helping them back to the Bundesliga.
• Hubchev began his coaching career as an assistant at Eintracht in 2001 and also served on the staff of the Bulgarian national team. After a six-month stint as head coach at Slavia Sofia in 2005 he returned to Germany for spells with the reserve sides of Eintracht and Wolfsburg.
• In 2009 he was back in Bulgaria at Chernomorets Pomorie, guiding the second division side to the cup final in his first season. Following a brief spell at Botev Plovdiv he had four seasons at Beroe Stara Zagora, leading them to victory in the Bulgarian Cup in 2012/13 and second place in the league two years later. On 3 October 2016, six months after leaving Beroe, Hubchev succeeded Ivaylo Petev as Bulgaria coach.
Date of birth: 28 November 1970
Playing career: Maccabi Petach-Tikva, Hapoel Haifa, Hapoel Petach-Tikva, Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv
Coaching career: Hapoel Haifa, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (twice), Maccabi Tel-Aviv, AEK Larnaca, Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Maccabi Petach-Tikva, Beitar Jerusalem, Ashdod, Cyprus
• Capped 34 times as a defender for Israel, Ben Shimon spent much of his career with home-town clubs Maccabi Petach-Tikva and Hapoel Petach-Tikva, but was perhaps in his prime during a six-year spell at Hapoel Haifa, during which he won the 1998/99 Israeli championship – the club's first league title.
• After hanging up his boots in 2003 following a stint at Bnei Yehuda, Ben Shimon was in charge of Maccabi Tel-Aviv's youth teams, taking his first senior jobs in the second tier with Hapoel Haifa and then Kiryat Shmona, whom he led to promotion in his first campaign at the helm.
• Briefly in the Maccabi Tel-Aviv hot seat in 2008, he guided Kiryat Shmona to another promotion after rejoining them in 2009, then masterminded their shock title success of 2011/12. He moved abroad for the first time in 2012 to coach Cypriot club AEK Larnaca, earning a third-placed finish in his sole season in command.
• Returning to Israel in 2013, he subsequently held the reins at Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Maccabi Petach-Tikva, Beitar Jerusalem and – in 2016/17 – Ashdod.
• Ben Shimon accepted the Cyprus post in July 2017, filling the void left by Christakis Christoforou's departure, and the following month oversaw a memorable 3-2 home win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
|Name||Date of birth||UEFA matches|
No such matches refereed
|09/07/2015||UEL||1QR||Apollon Limassol FC||FC Saxan||2-0||Larnaca|
|03/08/2017||UEL||3QR||CS Marítimo||PFC Botev Plovdiv||2-0||Funchal|
Last updated 11/10/2018 11:47CET
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 15:46CET