If You Didn't Notice, Portugal Won UEFA's First-Ever Nation's Cup

Published on 9-Jun-2019 by Axel Kr├╝ger

Soccer    Soccer Daily Review

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If You Didn't Notice, Portugal Won UEFA's First-Ever Nation's Cup

According to Europe's governing body of the game, there's just not enough football to go around these days.

Besides, if the calendar year ever expands to 15 months, UEFA wants to be ready.

Last autumn, in the name of generating even more TV revenue, dudes created the Nations League tournament, ostensibly hiding behind the concept that little countries will get a better crack at qualifying for the next European championship.

 

Now that the dust has settled in this wacky four-tier competition, here are the current 16 teams that qualify for the Euro 2020 playoffs next March:

Note: GW- Group Winner; H- Euro 2020 Host, but hosts don't automatically qualify for the tourney.

Keep in mind that if any of these 16 qualify for Euro 2020 the way God intended, the next in line from their group will move up into a playoff spot.

 

Exactly.

The League A teams got the honor of meeting at a location drawn by lot from the four qualifiers to duke it out for the title of Nations League champion and then return home to tell their fellow citizens exactly what that means.

Those four were Portugal, the Netherlands, England, and Switzerland. In semi-final action:

  • Portugal 3-1 Switzerland, and
  • The Netherlands 3-1 England.

Fortunately for A Seleção das Quinas -- aka the Navigators -- the chosen venue where these were played and where the final took place just happened to be Estádio do Dragão in Porto.

 

Maybe that was the edge in their 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

The Dutch had their chances, but only Gonçalo Guedes' strike off a spiffy pass from Bernardo Silva made it to the scoreboard:

 

The Portuguese now have a piece of newly-forged silverware to go with their 2016 Euro Cup triumph over France.

Not to mention €10million in prize money.

But no automatic ticket to Euro 2020. Amazing.

 

Chuffed by this overhaul that basically removed international friendlies from Euopean football, UEFA will now turn its attention to reform at the club level that also adds a third tier of competition, which will dictate even more games being scheduled.

Someday soon, football's gonna need those extra months added to the calendar.