Last updated 16/10/2018 11:08CET
UEFA Nations League: Norway - Bulgaria Match press kits

UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits

NorwayNorwayUllevaal Stadion - OsloTuesday 16 October 2018
20.45CET (20.45 local time)
Group C3 - Matchday 4
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Previous meetings Only this chapter

Head to Head

UEFA Nations League
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
09/09/2018GS-FTBulgaria - Norway1-0
SofiaVasilev 58
2016 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
03/09/2015QR (GS)Bulgaria - Norway0-1
SofiaForren 57
13/10/2014QR (GS)Norway - Bulgaria2-1
OsloT. Elyounoussi 13, Nielsen 72; Bodurov 43
1984 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
07/09/1983PR (GS)Norway - Bulgaria1-2
OsloHareide 4; Mladenov 11, Sirakov 51
27/10/1982PR (GS)Bulgaria - Norway2-2SofiaVelitchov 13, Nikolov 68; Thoresen 17 (P), Økland 66
1972 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
09/06/1971PR (GS)Norway - Bulgaria1-4
OsloIversen 80; Bonev 26, 42 (P), Zhekov 29, Vasilev 37
15/11/1970PR (GS)Bulgaria - Norway1-1SofiaAtanasov 29; Fuglset 83
1968 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
29/06/1967PR (GS)Norway - Bulgaria0-0Oslo
13/11/1966PR (GS)Bulgaria - Norway4-2
SofiaZanev 18, 43, Zhekov 42, 85; Hasund 59, 86
FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
03/11/1957QR (GS)Bulgaria - Norway7-0
SofiaIliev 6, 60, 74, Panayotov 29, 32, Yanev 59, Debarski 77
22/05/1957QR (GS)Norway - Bulgaria1-2
OsloHennum 47 (P); Dimitrov 38, 75
 QualifyingFinal tournamentTotal

Last updated 14/10/2018 18:30CET

Squad list Only this chapter

Norway - Squad list
League phase
1Rune Jarstein29/09/198434Hertha - 30
12Ørjan Nyland10/09/199028Aston Villa - 00
22Eirik Holmen Johansen12/07/199226Sandefjord - 00
2Haitam Aleesami31/07/199127Palermo - 10
3Even Hovland14/02/198929Rosenborg - 10
4Vegard Forren16/02/198830Molde - 00
5Sigurd Rosted22/07/199424Gent - 10
14Omar Elabdellaoui05/12/199126Olympiacos*30
16Jonas Svensson06/03/199325AZ - 00
17Martin Linnes20/09/199127Galatasaray - 10
6Håvard Nordtveit21/06/199028Hoffenheim - 20
8Stefan Johansen08/01/199127Fulham - 32
13Fredrik Midtsjø11/08/199325AZ - 00
15Martin Ødegaard17/12/199819Vitesse - 00
18Ole Selnæs07/07/199424St-Étienne - 31
19Markus Henriksen25/07/199226Hull*30
20Mats Møller Daehli02/03/199523St Pauli - 00
23Iver Fossum15/07/199622Hannover - 30
7Joshua King15/01/199226Bournemouth - 30
9Alexander Sørloth05/12/199522Crystal Palace - 10
10Tarik Elyounoussi23/02/198830AIK*20
11Mohamed Elyounoussi04/08/199424Southampton - 30
21Bjorn Johnsen06/11/199126AZ*30
-Lars Lagerbäck16/07/194870 - 30
Bulgaria - Squad list
League phase
1Georgi Petkov14/03/197642Slavia Sofia - 00
13Blagoy Makendzhiev11/07/198830Cherno More - 00
23Plamen Iliev30/11/199126Astra*30
2Strahil Popov31/08/199028Kasımpaşa - 20
3Petar Zanev18/10/198532Yenisey - 10
4Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski08/08/199523CSKA-Sofia - 20
5Nikolay Bodurov30/05/198632CSKA-Sofia - 30
11Ivan Bandalovski23/11/198631Beroe - 20
14Anton Nedyalkov30/04/199325Ludogorets*10
15Vasil Bozhikov02/06/198830Slovan Bratislava - 20
20Ivan Goranov10/06/199226Levski - 20
6Simeon Slavchev25/09/199325Qarabağ*20
7Georgi Kostadinov07/09/199028Arsenal Tula*30
8Todor Nedelev07/02/199325Botev Plovdiv - 21
10Ivelin Popov26/10/198730Spartak Moskva*30
12Bozhidar Kraev23/06/199721Midtjylland - 32
17Georgi Milanov19/02/199226Vidi - 10
18Galin Ivanov15/04/198830Slavia Sofia - 10
21Kristiyan Malinov30/03/199424CSKA-Sofia - 10
9Radoslav Vasilev12/10/199028Cherno More - 21
16Svetoslav Kovachev14/03/199820Dunav - 00
19Kiril Despodov11/11/199621CSKA-Sofia*31
22Nikolay Dimitrov15/10/198731Ural - 00
-Petar Houbchev26/02/196454 - 30

Last updated 16/10/2018 11:07CET

Head coach Only this chapter

Lars Lagerbäck

Date of birth: 16 July 1948
Nationality: Swedish
Playing career: Alby, Gimonäs
Coaching career: Kilafors, Arbrå, Hudiksvalls, Sweden (youth sides), Sweden, Nigeria, Iceland, Norway

• A lower-league player, Lagerbäck began his coaching career in 1977 with Kilafors, joining the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) as a youth coach after spells with two other modest club sides Arbrå and Hudiksvall. Coached the national Under-21 and B teams until Tommy Söderberg took him on as his assistant with the senior national squad in 1998.

• Söderberg and Lagerbäck managed Sweden in tandem from 2000, reaching UEFA EURO 2000, the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2004; following Söderberg's departure, Lagerbäck took the troops to the 2006 World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008 single-handed.

• Stepped down after failing to lead Sweden to the 2010 World Cup finals, but ended up travelling to that tournament as coach of Nigeria.

• Appointed Iceland boss in October 2011, he steered the side to the 2014 World Cup play-offs where they lost to Croatia. Agreed a new contract that would mean he handed over the reins to assistant Heimir Hallgrímsson at the end of the UEFA EURO 2016 campaign – and promptly guided Iceland to their first ever major tournament.

• Even better was to follow as Iceland knocked out England en route to reaching the quarter-finals, where they lost to France, and in February 2017 Lagerbäck came out of retirement to take over as coach of Norway, his new side picking up ten points from their six 2018 World Cup qualifiers under his watch.


Petar Hubchev

Date of birth: 26 February 1964
Nationality: Bulgarian
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.


Match officials Only this chapter

  • RefereeJohn Beaton (SCO)
  • Assistant refereesFrancis Connor (SCO) , Douglas Potter (SCO)
  • Additional assistant refereesSteven McLean (SCO) , Alan Newlands (SCO)
  • Fourth officialStuart Stevenson (SCO)
  • UEFA DelegateLuis Cuervas Del Real (ESP)
  • UEFA Referee observerJørn West Larsen (DEN)


NameDate of birthUEFA matches
John Beaton09/01/1982031

UEFA Nations League matches between the two teams

No such matches refereed

Other matches involving teams from either of the two countries involved in this match

DateCompetitionStage reachedHomeAwayResultVenue
10/09/2013U21QRNorwayFYR Macedonia2-1Drammen
10/07/2014UEL1QRFK JelgavaRosenborg BK0-2Jelgava
16/07/2015UEL2QRFK Mladá BoleslavStrømsgodset IF1-2Mlada Boleslav
26/07/2018UEL2QRPFC CSKA-SofiaFC Admira Wacker Mödling3-0Sofia

Last updated 14/10/2018 18:32CET

Competition facts Only this chapter

What is the background to the UEFA Nations League?

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.

What is the basic format?

  • The format of the UEFA Nations League features promotion and relegation. The 55 European national teams have been divided into four leagues in accordance with UEFA's national association coefficient rankings on 11 October 2017.
  • League A includes the top-ranked sides and League D includes the lowest:

League A

Group A1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group A2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group A3: Portugal, Italy, Poland
Group A4: Spain, England, Croatia

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The four teams that finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League B

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

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer

League C

Group C1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group C2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group C3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group C4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania

  • Teams have been split into one group of three (containing teams from Pots 1, 2 and 3 only) and three groups of four.
  • Due to winter venue restrictions, a group could contain a maximum of two of these teams: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League B, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League D for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League D

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

  • Teams have been split into four groups of four.
  • Due to excessive travel restrictions, any group could not contain a maximum of one of these pairs: Andorra & Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Azerbaijan
  • The four group winners are promoted to League C for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

  • Leagues A and B consist of four groups of three teams
  • League C comprises one group of three teams and three groups of four sides
  • League D is formed by four groups of four teams
  • The League Phase Draw for the UEFA Nations League took place at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne on 24 January 2018.
  • In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The overall UEFA Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European Qualifiers.
  • In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament, with four sides qualifying through play-off matches which take place in March 2020 (see below).

When will the UEFA Nations League take place?

The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:

  • See the full fixture list.
  • The UEFA Nations League group games are being held over six matchdays, during the 'double-headers' in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
  • For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be formally appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from one of the nations competing in the final four. Italy, Poland and Portugal (all in Group A3) have expressed interest.
  • The play-off matches will be staged in March 2020 (see below).

Will qualifying for the UEFA EURO change?

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).

  • The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will take place in March 2020 and which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners.
  • If a group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League ranking.  
  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.

How are the overall UEFA Nations League rankings calculated?

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.

What are the advantages for national associations and teams?

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.

What are the advantages for supporters?

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.

Will this mean more demands on players and clubs?

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.

Is this just about generating more revenue?

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.

Will there be no more friendly internationals?

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.


Match-by-match lineups Only this chapter


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Group C3 - Group Standings
    Matchday 1 (06/09/2018)
    Norway 2-0 Cyprus
    1-0 Johansen 21, 2-0 Johansen 42
    Jarstein, Meling, Ajer, Nordtveit, King (89 T. Elyounoussi), Johansen (72 Fossum), Elyounoussi, Elabdellaoui, Berge (69 Selnæs), Henriksen, Johnsen
  • Matchday 2 (09/09/2018)
    Bulgaria 1-0 Norway
    1-0 Vasilev 58
    Jarstein, Meling, Ajer, Nordtveit, King, Johansen (62 Fossum), Elyounoussi, Elabdellaoui, Berge (78 Selnæs), Henriksen, Johnsen (46 Sørloth)
  • Matchday 3 (13/10/2018)
    Norway 1-0 Slovenia
    1-0 Selnæs 45+5
    Jarstein, Aleesami, Hovland, Rosted, King, Johansen (80 Fossum), T. Elyounoussi (75 Johnsen), Elyounoussi (93 Linnes), Elabdellaoui, Selnæs, Henriksen
  • Matchday 4 (16/10/2018)
  • Matchday 5 (16/11/2018)
  • Matchday 6 (19/11/2018)


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Matchday 1 (06/09/2018)
    Slovenia 1-2 Bulgaria
    0-1 Kraev 3, 1-1 Zajc 40, 1-2 Kraev 59
    Iliev, Chorbadzhiyski, Bodurov, Slavchev, Kostadinov, Nedelev (82 Goranov), Popov, Bandalovski, Kraev (72 Rainov), Bozhikov (46 Lyaskov), Despodov
  • Matchday 2 (09/09/2018)
    Bulgaria 1-0 Norway
    1-0 Vasilev 58
    Iliev, Popov, Chorbadzhiyski, Bodurov, Kostadinov, Popov, Bandalovski, Kraev (82 Malinov), Ivanov, Despodov (73 Goranov), Rainov (50 Vasilev)
  • Matchday 3 (13/10/2018)
    Bulgaria 2-1 Cyprus
    0-1 Kastanos 41, 1-1 Despodov 59, 2-1 Nedelev 68
    Iliev, Popov, Zanev, Bodurov, Slavchev, Kostadinov, Nedelev, Popov (83 Vasilev), Kraev (57 Milanov), Nedyalkov, Despodov (74 Bozhikov)
  • Matchday 4 (16/10/2018)
  • Matchday 5 (16/11/2018)
  • Matchday 6 (19/11/2018)

Last updated 14/10/2018 18:32CET



  • Disclaimer: Although UEFA has taken all reasonable care that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication, no representation or guarantee (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. Therefore, UEFA assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. More information can be found in the competition regulations available on