What is the UEFA Nations League? Finals, fixtures, results & how it works

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The inaugural UEFA Nations League is heading towards a conclusion, with the finals coming up.

A total of 55 teams participated in the brand new venture and the first edition is approaching a conclusion.

There have been some interesting match-ups, but the tournament still prompts a sense of bewilderment among casual observers.

Goal takes a look the Nations League, how it works and brings you all the fixtures and results.

Skip to…

1. What is the UEFA Nations League?
2. How does the UEFA Nations League work?
3. UEFA Nations League finals
4. UEFA Nations League A
5. UEFA Nations League B
6. UEFA Nations League C
7. UEFA Nations League D
8. UEFA Nations League prize money
9. European Championship qualifying
10. UEFA Nations League ball


What is the UEFA Nations League?


The Nations League is a bold attempt by UEFA to revamp international football in Europe.

According to the official UEFA website, the establishment of the competition “stems from the desire … to improve the quality and standing of national team football” with the federation and its associations seeking a move away from meaningless friendly games.

It sees UEFA’s 55 member associations split into four leagues (A-D), each consisting of four groups.

When does the UEFA Nations League take place?

The 2018-19 Nations League kicked off in September 2018 , with the first two rounds of group games taking place during that month. The remaining were played in October and November, with the group stage now finished.

The finals will be held in June 2019 .

Round Date
Matchday 1 September 6-8, 2018
Matchday 2 September 9-11, 2018
Matchday 3 October 11-13, 2018
Matchday 4 October 14-16, 2018
Matchday 5 October 15-17, 2018
Matchday 6 November 15-17, 2018
Semi-finals June 5-6, 2019
Third-place play-off June 9, 2019
Final June 9, 2019

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How does the UEFA Nations League work?



As a new concept the Nations League has understandably left many fans, footballers and even officials themselves somewhat bewildered. But it will eventually become a natural and widely understood part of the European football calendar. We’ve broken it down in greater detail already here , but here are the express notes.

At the top end – in League A – the winners of each of the four groups progress to the finals, where they will fight it out to become Nations League champions.

The competition will also incorporate promotion and relegation, so teams can ascend or descend the ranks depending on their performances.

Four teams – those that finish bottom in their groups – will be relegated from Leagues A to B, B to C and C to D.

Conversely, four teams – those that finish top of their groups – will be promoted from Leagues D to C, C to B and B to A.

Helpfully, UEFA has produced a graphic, which you can see below, that illustrates exactly how promotion and relegation work in the competition.


Straightforward enough, right?

However, there are also qualification places for the European Championship up for grabs, which is where it becomes a little more complicated, but we will deal with that later.

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UEFA Nations League finals



After the conclusion of matchday six, the Nations League moves into the finals stage, which takes place in the summer of 2019.

Four teams – Switzerland, England, Portugal and the Netherlands – compete in two semi-finals (on June 5 and 6) with a third-place play-off and final following (on June 9).

This section of the tournament will be held in Portugal. They had been joined by Italy and Poland as nations looking to host, but won the right to host by topping League A Group 3.

The original bid proposed Porto’s Estadio do Dragao and the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimaraes as host venues.

Semi-finals

Date Match Time (UK)
June 5, 2019 Portugal vs Switzerland 7:45pm
June 6, 2019 Netherlands vs England 7:45pm

Third-place play-off

Date Match Time (UK)
June 9, 2019 Portugal/Switzerland vs Netherlands/England 2pm

Final

Date Match Time (UK)
June 9, 2019 Portugal/Switzerland vs Netherlands/England 7:45pm

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UEFA Nations League A tables, fixtures & results



League A features the top 12 ranked teams in Europe and they are divided into four groups of three. Among them are Germany, Portugal, Spain, England and France.

You can see the full breakdown of League A, including group tables, fixtures and results, below.

Group 1

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Netherlands (Q) 4 2 1 1 +4 7
2 France 4 2 1 1 0 7
3 Germany (R) 4 0 2 2 -4 2

Group 1 fixtures

Group 2

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Switzerland (Q) 4 3 0 1 +9 9
2 Belgium 4 3 0 1 +3 9
3 Iceland (R) 4 0 0 4 -12 0

Group 2 fixtures

Group 3

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Portugal (Q) 4 2 2 0 +2 8
2 Italy 4 1 2 1 0 5
3 Poland (R) 4 0 2 2 -2 2

Group 3 fixtures

Group 4

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 England (Q) 4 2 1 1 +1 7
2 Spain 4 2 0 2 +5 6
3 Croatia (R) 4 1 1 2 -6 4

Group 4 fixtures

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UEFA Nations League B tables, fixtures & results



League B is made up by the teams ranked from 13 to 24 and, like League A, they are divided into four groups of three. Some of the teams involved at this tier include Wales, Ukraine and Russia.

You can see the full breakdown of League B, including group tables, fixtures and results, below.

Group 1

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Ukraine (Q) 4 3 0 1 0 9
2 Czech Republic 4 2 0 2 0 6
3 Slovakia (R) 4 1 0 3 0 3

Group 1 fixtures

Group 2

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Sweden (Q) 4 2 1 1 +2 7
2 Russia 4 2 1 1 +1 7
3 Turkey (R) 4 1 0 3 -3 3

Group 2 fixtures

Group 3

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Bosnia & Herzegovina (Q) 4 3 1 0 +4 10
2 Austria 4 2 1 1 +1 7
3 Northern Ireland (R) 4 0 0 4 -5 0

Group 3 fixtures

Group 4

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Denmark (Q) 4 2 2 0 +3 8
2 Wales 4 2 0 2 +1 6
3 Republic of Ireland (R) 4 0 2 2 -4 1

Group 4 fixtures

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UEFA Nations League C tables, fixtures & results



Unlike the top two tiers, League C features the next best 15 teams, with one group of three and three groups of four. Scotland, Greece and Serbia are among the teams involved.

You can see the full breakdown of League C, including group tables, fixtures and results, below.

Group 1

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Scotland (Q) 4 3 0 1 +6 9
2 Israel 4 2 0 2 +1 6
3 Albania (R) 4 1 0 3 -7 3

Group 1 fixtures

Group 2

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Finland (Q) 6 4 0 2 +2 12
2 Hungary 6 3 1 2 3 10
3 Greece 6 3 0 3 -1 9
4 Estonia (R) 6 1 1 4 -4 4

Group 2 fixtures

Group 3

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Norway (Q) 6 4 1 1 +5 13
2 Bulgaria 6 3 2 1 +2 11
3 Cyprus 6 1 2 3 -4 5
4 Slovenia (R) 6 0 3 3 -3 3

Group 3 fixtures

Group 4

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Serbia (Q) 6 4 2 0 +7 14
2 Romania 6 3 3 0 +5 12
3 Montenegro 6 2 1 3 +1 7
4 Lithuania (R) 6 0 0 6 -13 0

Group 4 fixtures

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UEFA Nations League D tables, fixtures & results


Henrikh Mkhitaryan Armenia

League D is populated by the 16 lowest-ranked teams and they are divided into four groups of four. The likes of Armenia, San Marino and the Faroe Islands are competing at this level.

You can see the full breakdown of League D, including group tables, fixtures and results, below.

Group 1

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Georgia (Q) 6 5 1 0 +10 16
2 Kazakhstan 6 1 3 2 +1 6
3 Latvia 6 0 4 2 -4 4
4 Andorra 6 0 4 2 -7 4

Group 2 fixtures

Group 2

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Belarus (Q) 6 4 2 0 +10 14
2 Luxembourg 6 3 1 2 +7 10
3 Moldova 6 2 3 1 -1 9
4 San Marino 6 0 0 6 -16 0

Group 2 fixtures

Group 3

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Kosovo (Q) 6 4 2 0 +9 14
2 Azerbaijan 6 2 3 0 +5 9
3 Faroe Islands 6 1 2 3 -5 5
4 Malta 6 0 3 3 -9

Group 3 fixtures

Group 4

Pos Team GP W D L GD Pts
1 Macedonia (Q) 6 5 0 1 +9 15
2 Armenia 6 3 1 2 +6 10
3 Gibraltar 6 2 0 4 -10 6
4 Liechtenstein 6 1 1 4 -5 4

Group 4 fixtures

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UEFA Nations League prize money


Every team that competes in the Nations League will receive solidarity payments from UEFA and bonus payments will be made to teams based on their performances.

UEFA announced in October that it would increase solidarity payments by 50 per cent and the higher the league, the better the payment, which you can see in the table below.

League Solidarity payment Winner’s bonus
A €2.25m €2.25m
B €1.5m €1.5m
C €1.125m €1.125m
D €750,000 €750,000

The teams that qualify for the Nations League final will also be rewarded for their performance at that stage.

The winner will receive a bonus of €6m, with the runner-up getting €4.5m. Third place will be paid €3.5m and the fourth-placed team will get €2.5m

As such, the maximum overall a team from League A can get is €10.5m; €3m for a team from League B; €2.25m for a team from League C; and €1.5m for a team from League D.

Final position Bonus
Winner €6m
Runner-up €4.5m
Third €3.5m
Fourth €2.5m

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European Championship qualifying


As referred to above, the Nations League will also be linked with the European Championship, beginning with Euro 2020.

First of all, the overall ranking of the teams in the Nations League was used to determined the seeding for the Euro 2020 qualification groups, the draw for which was held in Dublin in December 2018 following the conclusion of the group games.


Secondly, the Nations League will also potentially offer a route into the European Championship for teams that fail to reach the tournament through the qualification process.

Each League from A to D has four play-off positions which will be given to the group winners as first priority. However if a group winner has already qualified its place in the play-off will go to the next best ranked team of the league and so on.

There will be four different play-off paths, meaning a total of 16 teams, and these will generally mirror the initial four leagues in terms of make-up. That means there will be opportunities for lower ranked teams to reach the European Championship finals.

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UEFA Nations League ball



A new ball has been produced specifically for the competition by Adidas and it will be used across the games in all leagues.

The design is similar in terms of panelling to the Adidas Telstar 18, which was used during the 2018 World Cup, but the colourway is totally different, as you’d expect.

The ball replicates the branding used by UEFA for their new competition, with various colours appearing in between white and silver panels.

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