UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits
|Azerbaijan||Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu - BakuSunday 14 October 2018|
18.00CET (20.00 local time) Group D3 - Matchday 4
|10/09/2018||GS-FT||Malta - Azerbaijan||1-1||Ta' Qali||Agius 10 (P); Khalilzade 26|
|06/09/2015||QR (GS)||Malta - Azerbaijan||2-2||Ta' Qali||Mifsud 55, Effiong 71; Amirguliyev 36, 80|
|28/03/2015||QR (GS)||Azerbaijan - Malta||2-0||Baku||J. Hüseynov 4, Nazarov 90+2|
Last updated 12/10/2018 15:09CET
|11||Ramil Sheydaev||15/03/1996||22||Krylya Sovetov||-||2||0|
|16||Rüfat Dadaşov||29/09/1991||27||Preußen Münster||-||1||0|
|14||Jean Paul Farrugia||21/03/1992||26||Sliema||-||2||0|
Last updated 14/10/2018 10:01CET
Date of birth: 13 April 1972
Playing career: Daşqın Zaqatala (twice), Mertskhali, Alazani, Turan Tovuz (twice), Kur Nur, Neftçi (three times), Dinamo Stavropol, Fakel Voronezh (three times), Baltika Kaliningrad, Volgar Astrakhan, İnter Bakı
Coaching career: Neftçi, Qarabağ, Azerbaijan
• Started his playing career in 1988 with local side Daşqın Zaqatala before a spell in Georgia. Having returned to Azerbaijan, striker Gurbanov spent two more years at Daşqın and won the league with Turan Tovuz in 1993/94.
• Claimed three more Azerbaijani titles with Baku-based Neftçi, ending up as the league's leading marksman in 1996/97 and adding the domestic cup in 2004.
• With 12 goals in 64 matches for Azerbaijan, Gurbanov remains the national team's top scorer; after 115 goals in 191 Azerbaijani league games, he finished playing in 2006.
• Kicked off his coaching career at Neftçi and came second in the league before taking charge of Qarabağ in 2008. Won the Azerbaijani Cup in his first season and went on to lift the trophy three more times.
• Landed five league championships in a row with Qarabağ, getting to the UEFA Europa League play-offs three times before eventually qualifying for the competition proper in 2014/15 and then for the next two seasons. In 2017/18, he guided Qarabağ to the UEFA Champions League group stage – the first club from Azerbaijan to achieve that feat – and in November 2017 was appointed as Azerbaijan coach in addition to his club role.
Date of birth: 1 October, 1955
Playing career: Floriana, Melita Eagles, Naxxar Lions
Coaching career: Naxxar Lions, Malta Under-21 (twice), Pietà Hotspurs, Marxsaxlokk, Sliema Wanderers, Malta (assistant), Malta
• A combative midfielder, 'Zazu' made his debut for the senior team of local club Floriana at 16 and remained there for four seasons, winning two league titles and the FA Trophy and also claiming the first of four senior caps for Malta.
• He left for Australia aged just 21, joining top-flight outfit Melita Eagles, where he would spend the next 12 years, winning four State League championships and three Grand Finals and scoring 123 goals in 318 matches. He returned to his homeland in 1990, joining Naxxar Lions, and eventually hung up his boots at the age of 42.
• Started coaching while still playing at Naxxar before moving on to take charge of the Malta Under-21 side from 1998 to 2002. He later returned to club football on the island, serving Pietà Hotspurs, Marsaxlokk and Sliema Wanderers as head coach.
• In 2011 Farrugia was re-appointed as Malta U-21 head coach, remaining in charge until 2014, when he was promoted to the senior side as assistant to Pietro Ghedin.
• On 2 May 2018 he was appointed as Malta's head coach, replacing Tom Saintfiet who had been dismissed after just six months at the helm.
|Name||Date of birth||UEFA matches|
Referee since: 1995
First division: 2000
FIFA badge: 2003
Tournaments: 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, UEFA EURO 2008, 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2006 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, 2005 UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup
No such matches refereed
|22/10/2015||UEL||GS||Gabala SC||Borussia Dortmund||1-3||Baku|
|08/12/2016||UEL||GS||Qarabağ FK||ACF Fiorentina||1-2||Baku|
Last updated 13/10/2018 03:09CET
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 12/10/2018 15:08CET