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“Once again Cristiano Ronaldo turned up in full force”

Cristiano Ronaldo lifting another International European trophy might have been a deja-vu for many fans, but this time it wasnโ€™t quite as prestigious as in 2016.

Portugal nonetheless won the first edition of the UEFA Nations League, a tournament perceived as an overall success.

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UEFA introduced the Nations League as a way to give prestige to what would otherwise be friendly games. The idea was that the pursuit of a trophy would make teams feel involved in something bigger than a simple international week.

All professional players want to win trophies. Giving those games more importance to what would otherwise be mere friendly games has been a hit with athletes and fans.

The relegation and promotion system means that a lot of smaller pedigree European nations can compete in the Nations League.

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The group stages last years saw some great games and some upsets such as Holland qualifying to the final four at the expense of world champions France and Germany, and the finals in Portugal were well received by the local fans, who then saw their captain lift the trophy in Porto.

Once again Cristiano Ronaldo turned up in full force. His hat-trick against Switzerland in the semifinal was top class.

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With all that weโ€™ve seen in the first ever edition, the Nations League did not disappoint. And it has the potential of growing into an important part of the football calendar year.

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