Last updated 15/11/2018 10:09CET
UEFA Nations League: Belgium - Iceland Match press kits

UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits

BelgiumBelgiumKing Baudouin Stadium - BrusselsThursday 15 November 2018
20.45CET (20.45 local time)
Group A2 - Matchday 5
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Previous meetings Only this chapter

Head to Head

UEFA Nations League
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
11/09/2018GS-FTIceland - Belgium0-3
ReykjavikE. Hazard 29 (P), R. Lukaku 31, 81
FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
03/09/1977QR (GS)Belgium - Iceland4-0
BrusselsVan Binst 14, Martens 19 (P), Courant 59, Lambert 66
05/09/1976QR (GS)Iceland - Belgium0-1
ReykjavikVan Der Elst 72
1976 UEFA European Championship
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
06/09/1975PR (GS)Belgium - Iceland1-0
LiegeLambert 43
08/09/1974PR (GS)Iceland - Belgium0-2
ReykjavikVan Moer 39 (P), Teugels 87 (P)
FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
22/05/1972QR (GS)Iceland - Belgium0-4
BrugesJanssens 28, Lambert 32 (P), 52 (P), Dockx 59
18/05/1972QR (GS)Belgium - Iceland4-0
LiegeVan Himst 13, Polleunis 33, 58, 90
FIFA World Cup
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
04/09/1957QR (GS)Iceland - Belgium2-5
ReykjavikJonsson 1, Thordarson 85; Van Herpe 9, Willems 40, Vandenberg 65, 81, 88
05/06/1957QR (GS)Belgium - Iceland8-3
BrusselsOrlans 5, 58, Piters 10, Vandenberg 13, Mees 20, 26, Coppens 42, 43 (P); Thordarson 33, 78, Jonsson 82
 QualifyingFinal tournamentTotal

Last updated 12/11/2018 13:33CET

Squad list Only this chapter

Belgium - Squad list
League phase
1Thibaut Courtois11/05/199226Real Madrid - 20
12Simon Mignolet06/03/198830Liverpool - 00
13Koen Casteels25/06/199226Wolfsburg - 00
2Toby Alderweireld02/03/198929Tottenham - 20
4Vincent Kompany10/04/198632Man. City - 20
5Jason Denayer28/06/199523Lyon - 00
15Thomas Meunier12/09/199127Paris - 20
17Christian Kabasele24/02/199127Watford - 00
19Brandon Mechele28/01/199325Club Brugge - 00
20Dedryck Boyata28/11/199027Celtic - 10
21Timothy Castagne05/12/199522Atalanta - 00
3Leander Dendoncker15/04/199523Wolves - 00
6Axel Witsel12/01/198929Dortmund - 20
7Hans Vanaken24/08/199226Club Brugge - 00
8Youri Tielemans07/05/199721Monaco - 20
10Eden Hazard07/01/199127Chelsea - 21
11Dennis Praet14/05/199424Sampdoria - 00
16Thorgan Hazard29/03/199325Mönchengladbach - 20
18Adnan Januzaj05/02/199523Real Sociedad - 00
22Nacer Chadli02/08/198929Monaco - 20
14Dries Mertens06/05/198731Napoli - 20
23Michy Batshuayi02/10/199325Valencia - 00
-Roberto Martínez13/07/197345 - 20
Iceland - Squad list
League phase
1Hannes Halldórsson27/04/198434Qarabağ - 30
12Ögmundur Kristinsson19/06/198929Larissa - 00
13Rúnar Rúnarsson18/02/199523Dijon - 00
2Birkir Sævarsson11/11/198434Valur - 20
3Jón Gudni Fjóluson10/04/198929Krasnodar - 00
4Samúel Friðjónsson22/02/199622Vålerenga - 00
5Sverrir Ingason05/08/199325Rostov - 20
6Hjörtur Hermannsson08/02/199523Brøndby - 00
14Kári Árnason13/10/198236Gençlerbirliği - 10
15Victor Pálsson30/04/199127Zürich - 20
16Eggert Jónsson18/08/198830SønderjyskE - 00
18Hördur Magnússon11/02/199325CSKA Moskva - 20
23Ari Skúlason14/05/198731Lokeren - 20
7Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson26/11/199819Vendsyssel - 00
8Gudmundur Thórarinsson15/04/199226Norrköping - 00
17Aron Gunnarsson22/04/198929Cardiff - 00
19Rúrik Gíslason25/02/198830Sandhausen - 20
20Arnór Sigurdsson15/05/199919CSKA Moskva - 00
21Arnór Ingvi Traustason30/04/199325Malmö - 20
22Albert Guðmundsson15/06/199721AZ - 10
9Kolbeinn Sigthórsson14/03/199028Nantes - 10
10Andri Rúnar Bjarnason12/11/199028Helsingborg - 00
11Alfred Finnbogason01/02/198929Augsburg - 11
-Erik Hamrén27/06/195761 - 30

Last updated 15/11/2018 10:09CET

Head coach Only this chapter

Roberto Martínez

Date of birth: 13 July 1973
Nationality: Spanish
Playing career: Real Zaragoza, Balaguer, Wigan, Motherwell, Walsall, Swansea, Chester City
Coaching career: Swansea, Wigan, Everton, Belgium

• Born in Catalonia, Martínez started out 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.


Erik Hamrén

Date of birth: 27 June 1957
Nationality: Swedish
Playing career: Ljusdal, Stockviks
Coaching career: Njurunda (youth), Sundsvall (youth), Bro (youth), Enköping, Väsby, Brommapojkarna, Vasalund, Degerfors, AIK, Örgryte, AaB, Rosenborg, Sweden, Iceland

• Hamrén's short-lived playing career began with home-town club Ljusdal at 17, but after a two-year spell both there and at Stockviks, he was forced into retirement through injury.

• Began coaching at junior level before taking on his first senior post with Enköping and experienced his first major success nine years later, when he led AIK to victory in the 1996 Swedish Cup – a trophy he successfully defended with the Stockholm side the following year. He also took the team to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1996/97, where they bowed out to eventual winners Barcelona. A third Swedish Cup was added to his CV with Örgryte in 2000.

• After moving abroad in 2004 to join AaB he won the Danish Superliga in 2008, having also led them into the UEFA Cup group stage, then followed up with back-to-back Norwegian championships at Rosenborg.

• During his time in Trondheim he was appointed as the coach of the Swedish national side, doing the two jobs simultaneously until he stepped down from his Rosenborg duties in September 2010 to take charge of Sweden full time. Over the next six years he led his country to the finals of both UEFA EURO 2012 and UEFA EURO 2016, missing out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup only after a qualifying play-off defeat by Portugal.

• After two years out of the game he was recalled to the international arena by Iceland, who appointed him as their new head coach on 8 August 2018 in succession to Heimir Hallgrímsson.


Match officials Only this chapter

  • RefereeOrel Grinfeld (ISR)
  • Assistant refereesDvir Shimon (ISR) , Roy Hassan (ISR)
  • Additional assistant refereesEitan Shmuelevitz (ISR) , Ziv Adler (ISR)
  • Fourth officialIdan Yarkoni (ISR)
  • UEFA DelegatePaolo Rondelli (SMR)
  • UEFA Referee observerManuel Diaz Vega (ESP)


NameDate of birthUEFA matches
Orel Grinfeld21/08/1981143

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
28/11/2013UYLGSRSC AnderlechtSL Benfica3-6Denderleeuw
05/11/2015UELGSTottenham Hotspur FCRSC Anderlecht2-1London
09/12/2016UELGSUS Sassuolo CalcioKRC Genk0-2Reggio Emilia

Last updated 13/11/2018 11:08CET

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 A2 - Group Standings
    Matchday 2 (11/09/2018)
    Iceland 0-3 Belgium
    0-1 E. Hazard 29 (P) , 0-2 R. Lukaku 31, 0-3 R. Lukaku 81
    Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Witsel, R. Lukaku, E. Hazard (89 T. Hazard), Carrasco (70 Chadli), Mertens, Meunier, Tielemans (80 Dembélé)
  • Matchday 3 (12/10/2018)
    Belgium 2-1 Switzerland
    1-0 R. Lukaku 58, 1-1 Gavranović 76, 2-1 R. Lukaku 84
    Courtois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen (73 Boyata), Kompany, Witsel, R. Lukaku, E. Hazard, Carrasco (76 Chadli), Mertens (92 T. Hazard), Meunier, Tielemans
  • Matchday 5 (15/11/2018)
  • Matchday 6 (18/11/2018)


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Matchday 1 (08/09/2018)
    Switzerland 6-0 Iceland
    1-0 St. Zuber 13, 2-0 Zakaria 23, 3-0 Shaqiri 53, 4-0 Seferović 67, 5-0 Al. Ajeti 71, 6-0 Mehmedi 82
    Halldórsson, B. Sævarsson, Pálsson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, B. Bjarnason (65 E. Bjarnason), G. Sigurdsson, Sigurdarsson (60 Kjartansson), Gíslason (74 Sigurjónsson), Bödvarsson, A. Skúlason
  • Matchday 2 (11/09/2018)
    Iceland 0-3 Belgium
    0-1 E. Hazard 29 (P) , 0-2 R. Lukaku 31, 0-3 R. Lukaku 81
    Halldórsson, B. Sævarsson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, B. Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, Sigurjónsson, H. Magnússon, Hallfredsson (84 Traustason), Bödvarsson (70 Sigthórsson), A. Skúlason (80 Pálsson)
  • Matchday 4 (15/10/2018)
    Iceland 1-2 Switzerland
    0-1 Seferović 52, 0-2 M. Lang 67, 1-2 Finnbogason 81
    Halldórsson, R. Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson, B. Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, Finnbogason, Árnason, Eyjólfsson , Sigurjónsson (84 Guðmundsson), H. Magnússon, Traustason (68 Gíslason)
  • Matchday 5 (15/11/2018)

Last updated 12/11/2018 13:33CET



  • 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