Between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lewandowski, on Friday September 7th, against Poland, for Italy the curtain officially rises on the Uefa Nations League 2019 , the new exclusive “Champions” for Nationals. The Azzurri, after the draw on January 24 in Lausanne, ended up in League A, group 3 together with Portugal and Poland .
In all 55 teams divided into four leagues : League A, the first series, in addition to the Italy group sees another iron group, the one between Germany, France and the Netherlands (group 1); Spain (group 4), on the other hand, will face England and Croatia. Group 2 made up of Belgium, Switzerland and Iceland.
The new tournament will take place every two yearsand its main purpose is to increase the reputation and interest in the national teams, effectively replacing the traditional friendlies established by the calendar of FIFA international competitions with a real tournament .
In fact, it was clear that the friendly preparation mechanism in place was by now not very stimulating and was experienced more as an annoying diversion from the championship weekend than as an opportunity to represent one’s national colors worldwide, thus proving to be not very convincing.
The debate on the creation of the competition had already started in 2011 under the Platini presidency on the occasion of the 2011 Strategic Meeting in Cyprus and continued on the occasion of a series of Top Executive Program (Tep) meetings in the last four years, in this case: the meeting of Uefa general secretaries in Stockholm in 2013, the Uefa Strategic Meeting in Dubrovnik in 2014, several meetings of the Uefa National Team Competitions Commission and more recently a series of regional Tep meetings in Europe.

But how will this innovative competition work ? The format is very detailed and includes promotion and relegation mechanisms and will even have direct effects on the composition of the next European Championships. Let’s see how:
The Uefa Nations League will be made up of four Championships in turn divided into four Groups of three or four teams . The 55 representatives will be included in their tournament (ABCD) on the basis of the actual value in order to guarantee the most competitive and exciting rounds possible.
Therefore, in championship A , the Nationals with a higher ranking will face each other and so on up to Group D which will see the Nationals with a lower ranking compete.
For the first edition, the Uefa coefficients of November 15, 2017 will apply, i.e. the one that will be valid until the end of the 2018 World Cup .
The four winners of each tournament, which features home and away matches, will qualify for the Final Four with knockout matches determined by a draw. The team that triumphs in the Final Four will obviously be elected champion of the Uefa Nations League.
Coming to the mechanism of promotions and relegations, the winners of the various groups, with the exception of Tournament A, will be promoted to the higher Tournament, while the last four classified will be relegated .
But, as mentioned, the Uefa Nations League will also be important from a European perspective since, based on the results, four qualified for the maximum continental tournament will be determined, one for each group.In the year of the European Championships, in March, the play-offs will be played in which the winners of all four groups will take part.
In the event that one of these teams has already obtained the qualification, it will be replaced by a representative of the same group not qualified based on its position in the Ranking. The pairings of the play-offs will be established by the results obtained during the Uefa Nations League.
The first Uefa Nations League will start in September 2018 , after the World Cup in Russia and will close in June 2019, thus contributing to the creation of what will be the Euro 2020 scoreboard , given that even the qualification phase will become much more slender.
Finally, it should be specified that the Uefa Nations League and the European Qualifiers will adhere to the already existing calendar for national matches, not involving further workloads on players and clubs and thus preserving the already unstable equilibrium in National – Club relations
. a project of great impact, in some ways revolutionary, but the question to ask is: will it actually be able to revolutionize the perception of the commitments of the national teams – even by the players themselves – in the transition periods between the major continental and intercontinental events
AND It is clear that, at least on paper, the Uefa Nations League will offer more stimulating matches with a greater degree of competition to the teams, helping to create a dedicated calendar and a more articulated structure to football for national teams, a theory confirmed directly by the voice of national federations and coaches during the consultations with UEFA carried out in the planning phase.
The Tournament will be a tempting opportunity especially for small and medium-sized nations, as it will guarantee them a further path to play for a place for the final stages of European tournaments.
The presuppositions seem good: that the revolution has become a reality

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