The Encyclopedia
of Differences

Difference Between FIFA World Cup and UEFA Nations League

Table of Contents

When it comes to international football, there are two major competitions that stand out: the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Nations League.

The main difference between World Cup and Nations League is that the former is held every four years and features 32 teams, while the latter is held every two years and features 55 teams. World Cup is also considered to be the more prestigious competition, as it is the ultimate test of a team's abilities on the international stage. Nations League, on the other hand, is seen as more of a developmental tournament.

What is the Fifa World Cup?

fifa world cup

The FIFA World Cup is an international football tournament that takes place every four years. The tournament is organized by FIFA, the world's governing body of football. It is the most prestigious event in the sport, and draws top players from all over the world.

The World Cup is contested by 32 national teams, each of which qualified through a series of elimination matches. The teams are divided into eight groups of four, and each team plays the other three teams in its group. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage, where they compete in a single-elimination tournament until only one team remains. The winner of the World Cup is crowned world champion.

What is the Nations League?

uefa nations league

The Nations League is a new tournament for national teams that was launched by UEFA in 2018. The tournament is played every two years and consists of four leagues, with each league containing four groups of three or four teams. The top team in each group is promoted to the next league for the next tournament, while the bottom team is relegated to the league below.

The Nations League is designed to add excitement to international football and provide another avenue for qualifying for the World Cup. In addition, the tournament provides an opportunity for national teams to play against other teams of similar ability, which can lead to more competitive and fun matches.

Differences between World Cup and Nations League


The first World Cup was launched in 1930 while the Nations League is very recent. It was created in 2018 to add more excitement between international teams.


The World Cup is seen as the more prestigious tournament and only the best 32 teams in the world compete. The Nations League is still growing in popularity but doesn’t have the same level of prestige. This is because the Fifa World Cup is the ultimate test of a team's abilities on the international stage.


The World Cup is held every four years while the Nations League happens every two years.

Number of Teams

In the World Cup, there are 32 countries that play while in the Nations League, there are 55.


The Nations League has a different format than the World Cup. In the World Cup, there are four groups of eight teams. The top two from each group advance to a knockout stage. In the Nations League, there are four leagues with three or four groups in each. The top team from each group is promoted to the next league for the next tournament.


The World Cup provides higher prize money to the winner. In the 2022 World Cup, the winning team receives $42 million, while in the 2022 Nations League, the winning team receives $10.5 million. 


The World Cup trophy is made of solid gold and weighs 6,17kg, while the nations league trophy is made of sterling silver and weighs 7,5kg.

What are the similarities between Fifa World Cup and UEFA Nations League?

  1. They are both international football tournaments.
  2. They both feature a group stage followed by a knockout stage.
  3. The winner of both competitions is crowned champion.
  4. They both involve multiple national teams competing against each other.
  5. They are world-renowned competitions that attract large amounts of TV viewers and generate significant revenue.
  6. They are both highly coveted prizes in world football.
  7. They both culminate in a final match between the two best teams.


Is the Nations League the same as the World Cup?

No, the Nations League is a new tournament for national teams that was launched by UEFA in 2018. The World Cup is an older tournament that has been around since 1930.

What is the point of UEFA Nations League?

The Nations League was conceived to make international football more interesting and to give teams another way to qualify for the World Cup.


Although both the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Nations League are two different competitions, they both provide an opportunity for countries to compete against each other in the sport of soccer.

The FIFA World Cup is definitely the more prestigious of the two, but that doesn't mean that the UEFA Nations League isn't important. Both competitions give countries a chance to show off their talent and skills on the field, and ultimately, it's up to the fans to decide which one they prefer.

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
Share our Article on:

Table of Contents

About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
All Posts Written By Tom Vincent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

magnifiercrosschevron-downarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram