UEFA Nations League: Why It’s Both A Really Good And A Really Bad Idea
The international break is coming up, and depending on how your club team is going this season, it could be either a major help or a major hindrance. But fear not, fellow fans, because UEFA has decided to make the international breaks a little more interesting.
The UEFA Nations League is the latest big creation by the boffins at UEFA, and it is aimed at making international friendlies actually mean something.
The UEFA #NationsLeague. EVERY game matters.
— UEFA Nations League (@UEFAEURO) September 4, 2018
No longer shall we see qualification matches featuring powerhouses like Belgium or France massacring San Marino or Gibraltar. Instead, we will see Belgium and France play teams equal to their caliber.
Belgium 9-0 Gibraltar FT:Thomas Meunier runs the show as Belgium get a huge win over Gibraltar. pic.twitter.com/PDqfKQ1oMK
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) August 31, 2017
It’s a very new concept, and one that does take a while to understand. While you can check out how it all works here, I’m here to tell you why this new UEFA Nations League is awesome and why it sucks: the UEFA Nations League pros and cons.
UEFA Nations League Pros And Cons
It’s fun to see plenty of goals in matches, don’t get me wrong. But it’s basically the bigger kids picking on the little kids in the playground when you have a much stronger team taking on a weaker team. The UEFA Nations League will have top teams playing each other, with Germany playing France to kick off the proceedings in League A.
There’s also the concept of promotion and relegation as well as a Nations League Finals, so there is some incentive to all of this. The countries in League B will certainly be looking to jump up into League A so that they can show everyone that they are worthy of competing at the top.
For clubs, this is a major benefit too. Sometimes players would fly to some interesting places all for a simple friendly match, and they would often return to their clubs tired and a little burned out after the international break. There isn’t a whole lot of travel involved in the UEFA Nations League, so there’s a win for club managers who are worried about players coming back quite jaded.
More competitive matches means more chance for an injury. Despite club managers potentially being happy about less travel for their players, having an added edge to international fixtures could mean that top players are more prone to being injured. That could lead to managers preventing players from going altogether.
Additionally, the UEFA Nations League was created with the idea that it would give the lower-tier nations a shot at qualifying for Euro 2020. But when a team in League D gets promoted into League C, it makes things inevitably harder, and basically defeats the whole point of the system.
We can also basically assume that most if not all teams in Leagues A and B will qualify for Euro 2020. The best teams from League C will take on teams in League B who still need to qualify, and let’s be honest, most League C teams barely pose a threat to the nations above them.
It’s a very confusing concept at first, but it does make sense once you open your heart to UEFA’s new baby. It’s now a waiting game to see how the UEFA Nations League turns out, but hopefully it makes international football a little more competitive than usual.