We thought, with the upcoming semifinal bouts between Italy and Spain, and Belgium and France, we should have a proper look at the UEFA Nations League and its history!
UEFA Nations League is a pretty recent addition to the international football competitions, and after the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, it is now the third most prestigious international tournament in the world!
It was founded in 2018 and takes place every two years. 55 European countries compete for the beautiful silver trophy. The main purpose of the newly founded league is to reduce the number of international friendlies played throughout the season. It is not supposed to affect the other big international competitions in any way. It also plays a role in the qualifications for the World Cup and the EUROs.
What does the format of the UEFA Nations League look like? It comprises of 4 divisions, or rather “Leagues”. League A being the highest one, followed by League B, League C, and finally League D at the bottom. The teams in each “League” are separated into “Groups”, and the winner of each group gets promoted, while the worst team of the group gets relegated. Finally, the winners of the 4 groups in League A qualify for the Nations League semifinals.
The first tournament took place in 2018-19 and Portugal took the trophy home after beating the Netherlands in the final match 1-0. Portugal pretty much dominated the match and deservedly earned the right to call themselves the first-ever winners of the UEFA Nations League. England finished in third, and Switzerland in fourth.
Make sure to check out the semifinals tomorrow night, and the day after that! The final match between the two best teams takes place on Sunday, 10.10.2021, at 20:45 CET, while the third-place match takes place on Sunday as well, but it starts at 15:00 CET!