Croatia has made the elite group of the new the UEFA Nations League competition which will start in 2018.
Croatia has won a League A spot with the biggest European sides UEFA confirmed on Wednesday.
The four leagues for the inaugural UEFA Nations League have been confirmed, with Croatia in League A with the likes of Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, and England. Teams in League A will be split into four groups of three, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners.
The new UEFA Nations League stems from the desire of UEFA and its 55 member associations to improve the quality and standing of national team football.
The format of the UEFA Nations League will feature promotion and relegation and sees the 55 European national teams divided into four leagues in accordance with UEFA’s national association coefficient rankings.
The League Phase Draw for the UEFA Nations League will take place in Lausanne on 24 January 2018.
In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020.
In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament, with four sides qualifying through play-off matches which take place in March 2020.
The UEFA Nations League group games, all teams will play each other home and away, will be held over six matchdays, during the ‘double-headers’ in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.