2018/19 UEFA Nations League season review

Portugal won the first UEFA Nations League final on home soil.

Portugal's Gonçalo Guedes after scoring what proved to be the winner in the first UEFA Nations League final
Portugal's Gonçalo Guedes after scoring what proved to be the winner in the first UEFA Nations League final VI-Images via Getty Images

Who won the 2019 UEFA Nations League?

Hosts Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the inaugural UEFA Nations League final in Porto on 9 June 2019. Gonçalo Guedes's 60th-minute strike slipped through the fingers of Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to hand victory to the reigning European champions. “It was excellent, I'm very happy,” said captain Cristiano Ronaldo. “Having won this trophy here in Portugal in front of the Portuguese people, for me this is a great honour."

Which sides reached the final tournament?

How Portugal won Nations League
How Portugal won Nations League

England, Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal featured at the final tournament, which ran from 5-0 June. The hosts beat the Swiss 3-1 in Porto to book their final place, the Oranje joining them after overcoming England by the same scoreline in Guimaraes (albeit after extra time). The third-place play-off game between England and Switzerland ended goalless, England ultimately winning 6-5 on penalties.

Awards

Alipay Top Scorer Trophy: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (3)
Goal of the Tournament: Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal vs Switzerland (he also finished second and third!)
Player of the Tournament: Bernardo Silva, Portugal
Young Player of the Tournament: Frenkie de Jong, Netherlands
Qualifying top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović, Serbia (6)

Watch Ronaldo's brilliant semi-final hat-trick
Watch Ronaldo's brilliant semi-final hat-trick

Who made the 2019 UEFA Nations League Team of the Tournament?

GK: Jordan Pickford (England)
DF: Nélson Semedo (Portugal)
DF: Rúben Dias (Portugal)
DF: Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands)
DF: Daley Blind (Netherlands)
MF: Bruno Fernandes (Portugal)
MF: Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands)
MF: Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
FW: Bernardo Silva (Portugal)
FW: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Five top 2019 UEFA Nations League facts

See how Pickford earned England third spot
See how Pickford earned England third spot

• The final win meant Portugal completed a run of ten games unbeaten (W5 D5); it was their 14th home game without defeat, a run that stretched back to September 2014.

• Georgia’s Georgi Chakvetadze scored the first ever UEFA Nations League goal, 69 minutes into a 2-0 League D win in Kazakhstan on 6 September 2018.

• The UEFA Nations League anthem was written in Latin: key lines – “Una! (Unite!) Lude! (Play!) Certa! (Struggle!) Una! (Unite!) Praesta! (Lead!) Vince! (Win!)”

• Luxembourg secured their biggest ever competitive home win in qualifying: 4-0 against Moldova on 8 September 2018.

• Jordan Pickford took and saved a penalty in England’s shoot-out success against Switzerland in the third-place play-off.