UEFA Nations League Draw Round-Up

The draw for the 2024 Nations League was made in Paris on Thursday afternoon, with all nations now knowing who they will go head to head with when the tournament gets underway later this year.

International friendlies were commonplace in football’s international breaks when there were no qualification matches for major tournaments such as the Euros and the World Cup. Although these games could sometimes be entertaining, they were essentially meaningless, and the football was not as fast-paced or exciting as it is in competitive international matches.

This led to the creation of the UEFA Nations League, a tournament to take the place of these friendlies, with the first tournament taking place in the 2018/19 campaign. Another benefit of the competition is that nations can secure qualification for the European Championships, with group winners securing qualification.

If the group winners have already qualified, then the next team down in the standings will qualify. The winner of the inaugural UEFA Nations League for 2018/19 was Portugal after they emerged as 1 – 0 winners against the Netherlands thanks to a goal from forward Goncalo Guedes early on in the second half (60’).

The next Nations League championship in the 2020/21 campaign saw France take the title, after they were 2 – 1 winners at the iconic San Siro in Milan against Spain. Karim Benzema (66’) and Kylian Mbappe (80’) scored for Les Bleus, whilst it was Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal (64’) who scored the sole goal for Spain that day.

Finally, the most recent winners of the tournament, in the 2022/23 campaign was 2021’s beaten finalists Spain. La Roja (The Red) won 5 – 4 on penalties against Croatia after playing out a 0 – 0 draw, even after extra time.

For England, the furthest they have ever got in the UEFA Nations League is to the Semi-Finals in the very first iteration in the 2018/19 campaign. On this occasion, they were beaten 3 – 1 by the Netherlands after extra time. The Three Lions secured themselves a third-place finish after beating Switzerland 6 – 5 on penalty kicks after the game ended in a 0 – 0 draw after extra time.

Gareth Southgate’s England hopes to win their first UEFA Nations League title this year.

The 2024/25 Nations League gets underway on Thursday, 5th September 2024, with England’s first game being away from home against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, 7th September 2024.

The draw for the League phase was completed in Paris on Thursday, and below is the result of the draw:

League A:

Group A1: Croatia, Portugal, Poland & Switzerland.

Group A2: Italy, Belgium, France & Israel.

Group A3: Netherlands, Hungary, Germany & Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Group A4: Spain, Denmark, Switzerland & Serbia.

League B:

Group B1: Czech Republic, Ukraine, Albania & Georgia.

Group B2: England, Finland, Republic of Ireland & Greece.

Group B3: Austria, Norway, Slovenia & Kazakhstan.

Group B4: Wales, Iceland, Montenegro & Turkey.

League C:

Group C1: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovakia & Estonia.

Group C2: Romania, Kosovo, Cyprus & Lithuania OR Gibraltar.

Group C3: Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland & Belarus.

Group C4: Armenia, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia & Latvia.

League D:

Group D1: Lithuania OR Gibraltar, San Marino and Liechtenstein.

Group D2: Moldova, Malta & Andorra.

Now that the draw has been made, anticipation and excitement are growing ahead of the start of the 2024/25 UEFA Nations League later this year.

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