What is the UEFA Nations League?

Hugely popular with national-team coaches, the UEFA Nations League was devised to replace friendlies with meaningful international games.

Cristiano Ronaldo with the trophy after the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals
Cristiano Ronaldo with the trophy after the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals VI-Images via Getty Images

UEFA's newest national-team competition, the UEFA Nations League was devised to replace friendlies with competitive matches, allowing nations to play against equally-ranked teams.

The 55 associations were split into four Leagues according to their position in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Rankings following the 2018/19 inaugural UEFA Nations League. A new league structure has been introduced since the first edition, comprising 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C and seven teams in League D. The four group winners of the top-ranked League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals.

The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will gain promotion. Those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A and B will be relegated. Two League C teams will be relegated to League D for the third edition of the competition in 2022/23. Those two teams are determined by play-offs (home and away) between the four fourth-ranked teams from each League C group.

The four group winners of League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals. The knockout tournament will be hosted by one of the quartet.

Roll of honour

2018/19: Portugal

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