A new era on European football has begun in 2018. UEFA Nations League has started this year, this competition has come to erase those tedious and boring “friendly” matches, that barely raised eyebrows among football fans, with a long-term, full of excitement tournament.

There are lots and lots of questions rising on of everybody’s mind, so we’ve collected as much info as we could, to answer most of them, such as why is this new league being held? It seems like a handful of leagues are happening through the continent, but the audiences for these leagues are way too small and as days and years go by, the number of fans could be diminishing.

Thinking about this, Mr. Michel Platini, former UEFA president, had the idea of this championship to replace all non-official matches with a high competition league that will have all the big teams from Europe, clashing among themselves.

Competition System

There are 55 continental national teams divided into four leagues (A, B, C and D) determined by UEFA’s ratings. In turn, each league is divided into four groups, in which they can be again be divided into three or four teams each.

In the case of Group A, the one with the most “powerhouses”, it’s formed by four groups of three teams. In each league, it’s a free for all, round trip matches, and the last team of each group will be demoted from group A to B, from B to C, and from C to D.

The winners of the four groups from league A will compete, on June 2019, in a final phase, a final four of sorts, in a place that hasn’t been decided yet, and from there, the champion from the UEFA Nations League will rise, pretty simple, right?

Are qualifying phases going to disappear? No, they won’t, at least for the moment, they won’t. The qualifying phase for The UEFA European Championship (Euros) 2020 will be held normally, but there will be 4 spots available. Said spots will come from UEFA Nations League, from the four winners from each individual league. If these teams get their spot on the qualifying phases, the spot will be granted to the second place of that league, and so on.

UEFA Nations League: To the Victor, the Spoils

Each team that is competing in the UEFA Nations League will get a “solidarity payment” from UEFA and bonus payments will be made to teams based on their performances, but its parameters haven’t been disclosed yet. UEFA itself announced back in October that the solidarity payments will be increased by 50 percent (not bad, uh?) and the higher the league, the better the payment.

A league A team will be getting a solidarity payment of 2.25m Euros, a B group will get 1.5m Euros, group C teams will receive 1.125m Euros and finally, a D group team will cash 750,000 Euros, now, teams that qualify for the UEFA Nations League final will be rewarded additionally for their performance at that stage. The winner of the UEFA Nations League will get a sweet bonus of 6m Euros, with the second place getting 4.5m Euros. Third place wins 3.5m Euros and the last team in the final phase will earn 2.5m Euros.