UEFA now has 55 member countries, from World Cup Winners France and beaten finalists Croatia, to minnows like Liechtenstein and Gibraltar.
The Leagues and groups that constitute the UEFA Nations League.How does it affect Euro 2020 qualification?
Uefa's bold new competition aims to replace a large portion of friendlies with more competitive fixtures against similarly ranked teams.
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The UEFA Nations League kicks off tonight and the first match of the newly formed tournament sees Joachim Loew's men host world champion France at the Allianz Arena.
The top side in each group in Leagues B, C and D will be promoted, and the bottom side in Leagues A, B and C relegated.
- The teams will play four or six group games (depending on the size of the group) over the six dates available during the September, October and November windows.
In League B, Gareth Bale scored his 30th goal for Wales as manager Ryan Giggs was treated to a 4-1 Group 4 victory over a depleted Republic of Ireland in his first home game in charge.
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Euro playoffs. The carrot to hold out for participation in the lower leagues is that the results of the Nations League will be used to feed the teams that enter European Championship playoffs. The top 10 nations from the Nations League qualifiers will earn a berth at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will expand to 16 teams.
During the same ceremony, the Nations League anthem was also revealed.
For the players it should be pretty simple really, go out and continue playing they did in the World Cup.
However, if a group victor has already qualified via the classic route, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. The four League A winners enter the semi-finals to decide the overall victor, while the highest ranking nations in each 16 groups (that haven't already qualified for Euro 2020) enter a separate set of semi-finals to win a place in the European Champions. With a good mix of experience and youth, we will get that feeling of absolute determination back. Before the World Cup, Egypt lost their opening qualifying match to Tunisia in Rades.
By no means will Didier Deschamps treat this newly inducted tournament as a non-serious business and would have high hopes of seeing his squad of budding talents lift another piece of silverware in due time.
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Top European clubs who liked to keep star players out of national team squads for friendlies are not delighted with extra competitive games on the calendar.