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2020–21 UEFA Nations League
Tournament details
DatesLeague phase:
3 September – 17 November 2020
Nations League Finals:
2–6 June 2021
Relegation play-outs:
24–29 March 2022
Teams55
Tournament statistics
Matches played160
Goals scored362 (2.26 per match)
Attendance102,538 (641 per match)
Top scorer(s)Norway Erling Haaland (6 goals)

The 2020–21 UEFA Nations League is the second season of the UEFA Nations League, an international association football competition involving the men's national teams of the 55 member associations of UEFA. The competition is being held from September to November 2020 (league phase), October 2021 (Nations League Finals) and March 2022 (relegation play-outs).

Portugal were the defending champions, having won the inaugural 2019 finals. However, they failed to qualify for the 2021 finals after finishing second in their group behind France. None of the teams that had qualified for the previous UEFA Nations League Finals qualified for the 2021 event.

Format

On 24 September 2019, UEFA announced that a revised format would be used for the 2020–21 edition, the second season of the competition. The 55 UEFA national teams were divided into four leagues, with Leagues A, B and C featuring 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four teams. League D featured 7 teams divided into two groups, with one containing four teams and the other containing three. The teams were allocated to leagues based on the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League overall ranking. Each team now played six matches within their group, except for one group in League D which played four, using the home-and-away round-robin format on double matchdays in September, October and November 2020. This format ensured that for almost all groups, teams in the same group played their last matches at the same time. It also increased the number of total league phase matches from 138 to 162, and minimised the number of friendly matches.

In the top division, League A, teams competed to become the UEFA Nations League champions. The four group winners of League A qualified for the Nations League Finals in June 2021, which is played in a knockout format, consisting of the semi-finals, third place play-off, and final. The semi-final pairings, along with the administrative home teams for the third place play-off and final, are determined by means of a draw. Host country Italy was selected among the four qualified teams by the UEFA Executive Committee, with the winners of the final crowned as the Nations League champions. The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used in the Nations League Finals.

Teams also compete for promotion and relegation to a higher or lower league. In Leagues B, C and D, the group winners were promoted, while the last-placed teams of each group in Leagues A and B were relegated. As League C had four groups while League D had only two, the two League C teams that are to be relegated will be determined by play-outs in March 2022. Based on the Nations League overall ranking of the fourth-placed teams, the first-ranked team will face the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face the third-ranked team. Two ties will be played over two legs, with each team playing one leg at home (the higher-ranked team will host the second leg). The team that scores more goals on aggregate over the two legs will remain in League C, while the loser will be relegated to League D. If the aggregate score is level, the away goals rule is applied, with extra time played if away goals are also equal. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, with a penalty shoot-out used to decide the winner if no goals are scored during extra time.

Tiebreakers for group ranking

If two or more teams in the same group were equal on points on completion of the league phase, the following tie-breaking criteria were applied:

  1. Higher number of points obtained in the matches played among the teams in question;
  2. Superior goal difference in matches played among the teams in question;
  3. Higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in question;
  4. Higher number of goals scored away from home in the matches played among the teams in question;
  5. If, after having applied criteria 1 to 4, teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 6 to 10 apply;
  6. Superior goal difference in all group matches;
  7. Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
  8. Higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
  9. Higher number of wins in all group matches;
  10. Higher number of away wins in all group matches;
  11. Lower disciplinary points total in all group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card).
  12. Position in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League access list.

Criteria for league ranking

Individual league rankings were established according to the following criteria:

  1. Position in the group;
  2. Higher number of points;
  3. Superior goal difference;
  4. Higher number of goals scored;
  5. Higher number of goals scored away from home;
  6. Higher number of wins;
  7. Higher number of wins away from home;
  8. Lower disciplinary points total (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card).
  9. Position in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League access list.

In order to rank teams in League D, which is composed of different sized groups, the results against the fourth-placed team in Group D1 are not taken into account for the purposes of comparing teams placed first, second and third in their respective groups.

The ranking of the top 4 teams in League A are determined by their finish in the Nations League Finals:

  1. The winner is ranked 1st;
  2. The runner-up is ranked 2nd;
  3. The third-placed team is ranked 3rd;
  4. The fourth-placed team is ranked 4th.

Criteria for overall ranking

The overall UEFA Nations League rankings were established as follows:

  1. The 16 League A teams are ranked 1st to 16th according to their league rankings.
  2. The 16 League B teams are ranked 17th to 32nd according to their league rankings.
  3. The 16 League C teams are ranked 33rd to 48th according to their league rankings.
  4. The 7 League D teams are ranked 49th to 55th according to their league rankings.

2022 FIFA World Cup qualification

Main article: 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)

The Nations League will be partially linked with European qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the format confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019. The qualifying structure will depend on results from the Nations League, although to a lesser degree than the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs. The ten group winners after the first round (group stage) will qualify directly for the World Cup. Then, the ten group runners-up, along with best two Nations League group winners based on the Nations League overall ranking which have not yet directly qualified or reached the play-offs, will advance to a 12-team second round (play-offs) to be conducted in two single-match knockout rounds, from which an additional three teams will also qualify.

Schedule

Below is the schedule of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League.

Stage Round Dates
League phase Matchday 1 3–5 September 2020
Matchday 2 6–8 September 2020
Matchday 3 8–10 October 2020
Matchday 4 11–13 October 2020
Matchday 5 12–14 November 2020
Matchday 6 15–17 November 2020
Finals Semi-finals 2–3 June 2021
Third place play-off 6 June 2021
Final
Relegation play-outs First leg 24–25 March 2022
Second leg 28–29 March 2022

The relegation play-outs of League C are scheduled on the same dates as the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs. If one or more of the teams due to participate in the relegation play-outs also qualifies for the World Cup qualifying play-offs, the relegation play-outs will be cancelled and the teams in League C ranked 47th and 48th in the Nations League overall ranking will be automatically relegated.

Seeding

All 55 UEFA national teams entered the competition. Due to the format change of the competition, no teams were actually relegated from the 2018–19 season. In addition to the group winners, the second-placed teams in Leagues C and D, along with the best-ranked third-placed team of League D, were also promoted.

In the 2020–21 access list, UEFA ranked teams based on the 2018–19 Nations League overall ranking, with a slight modification: teams which were originally relegated in the previous season were ranked immediately below teams promoted prior to the format change. The seeding pots for the league phase will be based on the access list ranking.The seeding pots, draw procedure and fixture list procedures were confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019.

Key
Rise Originally promoted in previous season (prior to format change)
. Originally relegated in previous season (spared after format change)
Rise* Promoted after format change
League A
Pot Team Prv Rank
1  Portugal (title holders) 1
 Netherlands 2
 England 3
 Switzerland 4
2  Belgium 5
 France 6
 Spain 7
 Italy 8
3  Bosnia and Herzegovina Rise 9
 Ukraine Rise 10
 Denmark Rise 11
 Sweden Rise 12
4  Croatia . 13
 Poland . 14
 Germany . 15
 Iceland . 16
League B
Pot Team Prv Rank
1  Russia 17
 Austria 18
 Wales 19
 Czech Republic 20
2  Scotland Rise 21
 Norway Rise 22
 Serbia Rise 23
 Finland Rise 24
3  Slovakia . 25
 Turkey . 26
 Republic of Ireland . 27
 Northern Ireland . 28
4  Bulgaria Rise* 29
 Israel Rise* 30
 Hungary Rise* 31
 Romania Rise* 32
League C
Pot Team Prv Rank
1  Greece 33
 Albania 34
 Montenegro 35
 Georgia Rise 36
2  North Macedonia Rise 37
 Kosovo Rise 38
 Belarus Rise 39
 Cyprus . 40
3  Estonia . 41
 Slovenia . 42
 Lithuania . 43
 Luxembourg Rise* 44
4  Armenia Rise* 45
 Azerbaijan Rise* 46
 Kazakhstan Rise* 47
 Moldova Rise* 48
League D
Pot Team Rank
1  Gibraltar 49
 Faroe Islands 50
 Latvia 51
 Liechtenstein 52
2  Andorra 53
 Malta 54
 San Marino 55

The draw for the league phase took place on 3 March 2020, 18:00 CET, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. While the draw typically has restrictions for prohibited clashes, winter venues and excessive travel, no conditions applied to the draw given the allocation of the teams to both leagues and pots.

League A

Main article: 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A

Group A1

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Italy 6 3 3 0 7 2 +5 12 Qualification to Nations League Finals
 Netherlands 6 3 2 1 7 4 +3 11
 Poland 6 2 1 3 6 6 0 7
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (R) 6 0 2 4 3 11 −8 2 Relegation to League B

Group A2

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Belgium 6 5 0 1 16 6 +10 15 Qualification to Nations League Finals
 Denmark 6 3 1 2 8 7 +1 10
 England 6 3 1 2 7 4 +3 10
 Iceland (R) 6 0 0 6 3 17 −14 0 Relegation to League B

Group A3

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 France 6 5 1 0 12 5 +7 16 Qualification to Nations League Finals
 Portugal 6 4 1 1 12 4 +8 13
 Croatia 6 1 0 5 9 16 −7 3
 Sweden (R) 6 1 0 5 5 13 −8 3 Relegation to League B

Group A4

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Spain (A) 6 3 2 1 13 3 +10 11 Qualification to Nations League Finals
 Germany 6 2 3 1 10 13 −3 9
 Ukraine 5 2 0 3 5 10 −5 6
 Switzerland 5 0 3 2 6 8 −2 3 Relegation to League B

Nations League Finals

Main article: 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals

The host of the Nations League Finals will be selected from the four qualified teams. The semi-final pairings will be determined by means of an open draw on 3 December 2020. For scheduling purposes, the host team is allocated to semi-final 1 as the administrative home team.

Qualified teams

Times are CEST (UTC+2), as listed by UEFA.

Bracket

Semi-finals Final
6 October 2021 – TBD
  Italy    
 Winners Group 2/3/4    
 
10 October 2021 – TBD
     Winners Match 1  
   Winners Match 2  
Third place
7 October 2021 – TBD 10 October 2021 – TBD
 Winners Group 2/3/4    Losers Match 1  
 Winners Group 2/3/4      Losers Match 2  

Semi-finals

6 October 2021 (2021-10-06)
Italy  Match 1 Winners Group 2/3/4

7 October 2021 (2021-10-07)
Winners Group 2/3/4 Match 2 Winners Group 2/3/4

Third place play-off

10 October 2021 (2021-10-10)
Losers Match 1 Match 3 Losers Match 2

Final

Main article: 2021 UEFA Nations League Final
10 October 2021 (2021-10-10)
Winners Match 1 Match 4 Winners Match 2

League B

Main article: 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B

Group B1

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Austria 4 3 0 1 6 4 +2 9 Promotion to League A
 Norway 4 3 0 1 11 3 +8 9
 Romania 4 1 1 2 4 8 −4 4
 Northern Ireland 4 0 1 3 2 8 −6 1 Relegation to League C

Group B2

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Scotland 4 3 1 0 5 2 +3 10 Promotion to League A
 Czech Republic 4 2 0 2 6 5 +1 6
 Israel 4 1 2 1 6 6 0 5
 Slovakia 4 0 1 3 4 8 −4 1 Relegation to League C

Group B3

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Russia 4 2 2 0 7 4 +3 8 Promotion to League A
 Hungary 4 2 1 1 4 3 +1 7
 Turkey 4 0 3 1 3 4 −1 3
 Serbia 4 0 2 2 3 6 −3 2 Relegation to League C

Group B4

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Wales 4 3 1 0 3 0 +3 10 Promotion to League A
 Finland 4 3 0 1 4 1 +3 9
 Republic Ireland 4 0 2 2 1 3 −2 2
 Bulgaria 4 0 1 3 1 5 −4 1 Relegation to League C

League C

Main article: 2020–21 UEFA Nations League C

Group C1

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Luxembourg 4 3 0 1 6 3 +3 9 Promotion to League B
 Montenegro 4 3 0 1 6 2 +4 9
 Azerbaijan 4 1 1 2 2 4 −2 4
 Cyprus 4 0 1 3 0 5 −5 1 Advance to relegation play-outs

Group C2

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 North Macedonia 4 1 3 0 7 6 +1 6 Promotion to League B
 Georgia 4 1 3 0 5 4 +1 6
 Armenia 4 1 2 1 6 5 +1 5
 Estonia 4 0 2 2 4 7 −3 2 Advance to relegation play-outs

Group C3

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Slovenia 4 3 1 0 6 0 +6 10 Promotion to League B
 Greece 4 2 2 0 4 1 +3 8
 Kosovo 4 0 2 2 2 4 −2 2
 Moldova 4 0 1 3 1 8 −7 1 Advance to relegation play-outs

Group C4

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Belarus 4 2 1 1 6 5 +1 7 Promotion to League B
 Lithuania 4 1 2 1 3 4 −1 5
 Albania 4 1 2 1 2 1 +1 5
 Kazakhstan 4 1 1 2 3 4 −1 4 Advance to relegation play-outs

Relegation play-outs

Team #1   Agg.   Team #2   1st leg     2nd leg  
Moldova   Kazakhstan 24–25 Mar '22 28–29 Mar '22
Estonia   Cyprus 24–25 Mar '22 28–29 Mar '22

League D

Main article: 2020–21 UEFA Nations League D

Group D1

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Faroe Islands 4 3 1 0 7 3 +4 10 Promotion to League C
 Malta 4 1 2 1 4 4 0 5
 Latvia 4 0 3 1 2 3 −1 3
 Andorra 4 0 2 2 0 3 −3 2

Group D2

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Notes
 Gibraltar 2 2 0 0 2 0 +2 6 Promotion to League C
 Liechtenstein 3 1 1 1 2 1 +1 4
 San Marino 3 0 1 2 0 3 −3 1

Overall ranking

The results of each team will be used to calculate the overall ranking of the competition.

League A
Rnk
Grp
Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
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Rnk
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Team Pld
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GF
GA
GD
Pts
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League C
Rnk
Grp
Team Pld
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D
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GF
GA
GD
Pts
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League D
Rnk
Grp
Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
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Goalscorers

There have been 362 goals scored in 160 matches, for an average of 2.26 goals per match (as of 18 November 2020).

6 goals

5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

External links

UEFA Nations League
UEFA Nations League seasons

2018-19 · 2020-21 ·

UEFA Nations League finals
2019
UEFA Nations League squads
2019
202021 in European football (UEFA)
Domestic leagues

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Domestic cups

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League cups

England · Estonia · France · Iceland '20 '21 · Israel · Latvia · Northern Ireland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Scotland · Wales

Supercups

Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Azerbaijan · Belarus · Belgium · Bulgaria · Cyprus · England · Estonia · Faroe Islands · France · Georgia · Germany · Gibraltar · Hungary · Iceland · Israel · Italy · Kazakhstan · Kosovo · Lithuania '20 '21 · Malta · Moldova · Netherlands · Northern Ireland · Norway '20 '21 · Poland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Spain · Turkey · Ukraine

UEFA competitions

Champions League (qualifying phase and play-off round, group stage, knockout phase, Final) · Europa League (qualifying phase and play-off round, Champions Path, Main Path, group stage, knockout phase, Final) · Super Cup

International competitions
UEFA Euro 2021 (qualification) · 2022 FIFA World Cup (qualification) · 2020–21 UEFA Nations League (League A · League B · League C · League D · Finals · Final)
202122 in European football (UEFA)
Domestic leagues
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