UEFA Nations League in focus - UEFA Direct 172 out now

UEFA's new national team competition and UEFA Women's EURO 2017 champion coach Sarina Wiegman take pride of place in the latest edition of UEFA's official magazine.

Read a full version of this article in the latest version of UEFA Direct (which can be downloaded in the UEFA document library)
Read a full version of this article in the latest version of UEFA Direct (which can be downloaded in the UEFA document library) ©UEFA.com

The UEFA Nations League kick-off comes ever closer – and UEFA Direct gives us the chance to learn all about Europe's exciting new national team competition.

The latest edition of UEFA's official magazine explains the format, calendar and objectives of the competition, which will get under way in September next year.

UEFA Direct highlights how the UEFA Nations League reflects the desire of UEFA and its 55 member associations to enhance the status of national team football – such a vital source of national sporting pride and identity.

Another major European national team competition, UEFA Women's EURO 2017, remains fresh in the memory, and the UEFA Direct coaching supplement, The Technician, meets Sarina Wiegman, the Netherlands coach who led her country to their first-ever Women's EURO title on home soil in August.

"We got people excited," Wiegman says of the Dutch triumph in a wide-ranging interview. "That is what women's football needs."

Staying with women's football, UEFA Direct looks at developments in Austria, whose national women's team reached the EURO semi-finals – a major reward for a country which is planning ahead diligently and seeking further successes.

Another article examines the positive impact of the UEFA international development tournaments that are giving young female footballers crucial help on their career paths.

We look back at September's UEFA Extraordinary Congress in Geneva, when relations between UEFA and European football stakeholders became even closer with the ratification of two European Club Association (ECA) representatives as full UEFA Executive Committee members, and the granting of one Executive Committee seat to the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).

The new UEFA #EqualGame campaign, positively promoting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football, is already making a big impact.

UEFA Direct turns the spotlight this month on a girl from Berlin, Zehra Badem, who tells us why football is everything in her life. "If boys can do ballet," she says, "why can’t girls take up football?"

Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 172

• 2016/17 club competition financial distribution figures
• Stadium security in focus at the latest UEFA-EU conference in Munich
• UEFA Research Grant Programme – promoting and protecting human rights in football
• UEFA's Executive Committee selects the 2019 European club competition final venues
• News and views from the UEFA member associations

UEFA Direct 172 is available to read in English, French and German.