World runner-up France, European champions Italy, Belgium and Israel have been drawn in Thursday’s tough group for the men’s UEFA Nations League, which kicks off in September.
The UEFA Nations League is the next event for UEFA member nations after this summer’s European Championship, where France, Italy and Belgium all qualified for the tournament in Germany and Israel are in the play-offs next month.
UEFA Nations League champions Spain have been drawn in a group with Denmark, Switzerland and Serbia, who will continue a strong rivalry fueled by Switzerland’s wins in their matches at the last two World Cups.
Euro 2024 hosts Germany are in the top group of the Nations League with the Netherlands, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatia was the top seed in a group with Portugal, Poland and Scotland.
England have been relegated from the top group of the Nations League in 2022 and will face Erling Haaland’s Norway and Finland, Greece and Ireland. It will be the first competitive match between England and Ireland since 1991.
Group stage games at all four levels are played from September to November.
In the top league A, the top two teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals in March 2025. The semi-finals and finals are mini-tournaments hosted by one of the competing countries.
The Final Four is scheduled for June 4–8, 2025, before many players return to their clubs for the inaugural 32-team Club World Cup in the United States.
A path to qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup is also on offer from November’s Nations League groups.
The European play-offs for the next World Cup are scheduled for March 2026 and will offer four entries into the final tournament, which is played across North America. The 16 teams in these two-year play-offs will include four spots based on the Nations League standings.