UEFA Nations League: How it works, format, structure and so on

Ruben Holloway
September 7, 2018

The debutant's standout save came from the resulting delivery when he produced a stunning reaction stop to keep out Matthias Ginter, who must have felt as though he had done enough to open his account for Germany with a firm header from a corner. This will be played off during a window of worldwide fixtures in September, October and November previously used to host global friendly matches.

Midway through the second half, Giroud, who failed to score at the World Cup, almost handed the visitors the lead but his towering header was palmed away by Manuel Neuer.

Despite their contrasting fortunes in Russian Federation, both teams still have the same managers at the helm with Didier Deschamps and Joachim Loew leading France and Germany respectively. The twelve top-ranked teams are split into four groups of three.

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England defender Kieran Trippier believes that Saturday's Nations League clash against Spain will give the Three Lions the ideal opportunity to prove that they can beat the big names. And Ozil had released an emotional three-part explanation of his decision, accusing the German FA of racism in the aftermath of a picture with Turkey president Recep Erdogan before the World Cup. They remain a top level team.

There will be promotion and relegation from each of the leagues.

The first ever goal of the new Nations League was a stunner, scored by Giorgi Chakvetadze in distant Astana, as Georgia beat Kazakhstan 2-0 in Group 1 of League D. There is also the added motivation of direct qualification for 2020 European Championship (UEFA Euro 2020) that makes the games quite competitive.

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The competition will largely replace global friendly matches now played on the FIFA worldwide Match Calendar.

If a League doesn't have available teams, the places will go to the teams of the League immediately below, according to the general ranking of the Nations League. It's similar to a repéchage in rowing - the best placed of those who failed to qualify will get a second bite at it.

The interesting thing about this system is that one of the four minnows from League D that top their groups will then win a spot to represent their League in the March mini-tournament.

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The Final Four is slated for June 2019, with winners from the four groups from league A, coming up against each other.

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