2024 European Football Championships Qualifiers

In order to be one of the 24 national teams competing at the 2024 UEFA European Championships, teams from the continent were required to go through a qualification process.

This is the preliminary stage in which 54 teams of the 56 that make up the continent (Russia being excluded and Germany automatically through as hosts) will compete in a group competition to win a place.

Qualifiers can be fierce and can be very difficult for some teams to navigate, as the strength of these groups can be incredibly strong. It is not uncommon to hear of a “Group of Death”, which can lead to some of the biggest footballing nations missing out. It can also make things difficult for the smallest nations in Europe, although changes have been made to help these teams have the opportunity to obtain a place and compete in a major tournament.

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As mentioned, there have been several changes to the way in which qualification can be achieved by the national teams that are competing for a spot in the main tournament. A number of these changes have been made by UEFA following its decision to expand the number of teams that can qualify, and this has had a direct impact on this year’s edition.

The 2020 Euros required a revised qualification process, which has been followed once again for the 2024 UEFA Euros. The process is linked with the UEFA Nations League, leaving three qualifying spots up for grabs for teams who were not successful in the initial process.

The first 20 spots in the main tournament were given to the teams that were able to finish top and second of their groups in qualifying. Each group consisted of either five or six nations, making a total of 10 groups. The teams that advanced to the play-offs were selected based on 2022–23 UEFA Nations League performances, rather than where they would end up finishing in their group.

This created a little controversy, as Norway finished third in Group A, but Georgia were selected to proceed to the play-offs despite finishing fourth. Estonia finished bottom of Group F but received a berth at the expense of Sweden. At the same time, Group J saw Luxembourg, Iceland, and Bosnia & Herzegovina all receive a play-off place, with Liechtenstein being the only nation from that group to miss out. Group G did not have a representative progress to the play-offs.

Twenty-one teams have already booked their place in the upcoming 2024 Euros. These are listed below:

CroatiaHungarySerbiaPlay-off Winner A
Czech RepublicItalySlovakiaPlay-off Winner B
DenmarkNetherlandsSloveniaPlay-off Winner C

The teams that are involved in the play-off bracket and looking to seal their place in Germany this summer are:

Path APath BPath C
WalesBosnia & HerzegovinaGreece

The teams in each path will compete against each other in a knockout format, with semi-finals and a final played.

Groups were drawn in 2022, with teams having been seeded into six pots based on the 2022–23 UEFA Nations League overall ranking. The four teams that made the finals of the Nations League were put in the UNL pot (Netherlands, Croatia, Spain, Italy). A computer system was used to ensure certain restrictions were met and there was an element of fairness to the draw.

The eventual draw and its final standings looked like this:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup E
2.*Scotland17*Netherlands18*Italy14*Croatia16*Czech Republic15
4.#Gerogia8Ireland (Rep)6North Macedonia8Armenia8Moldova10
5.Cyprus0Gibraltar0Malta0Latvia3Faroe Islands2



Group FGroup GGroup HGroup IGroup J
5.#Estonia1Bulgaria4N. Ireland9Kosovo11#Bosnia & Herzegovina9
6.San Marino0Andorra2Liechtenstein0



The 2024 Euro play-off picture has been scheduled to take place in March 2024, with the following fixtures having been organised to take place on 21 March, with the winner of each game playing each other for the spot at the main tournament on 26 March:

  • Poland vs Estonia
  • Wales vs Finland
  • Israel vs Iceland
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina vs Ukraine
  • Georgia vs Luxembourg
  • Greece vs Kazakhstan

There were a number of the world’s top players on show during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, with many of them having an influential impact on their national team’s quest to reach the main tournament. Stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane, and Romelu Lukaku were all influential, with each of them scoring goals when it mattered.

  • Romelu Lukaku scored 14 goals throughout the qualification stage and the top goalscorer.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 goals as he finished with the second-most.
  • Kylian Mbappé scored 9 goals for France in their qualification efforts.
  • Harry Kane scored 8 for England.
  • Rasmus Højlund and Scott McTominay scored 7 goals for Norway and Scotland, respectively.
  • Erling Haaland (Norway), Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), and Zeki Amdouni (Switzerland) all scored 6 goals.

A number of storylines were possible to experience throughout the entire Euro 2024 Qualifiers, with some being better than others.

It is impossible not to think about Sweden’s failure to qualify for the finals, as they have been a constant participant. It will be the first European Championships that they will have missed since Euro 1996, which highlights just how big of a shock it is not to see the yellow-and-blue shirts in Germany this summer. It is also a surprise to see Poland require the play-offs after Albania’s impressive showing in Group E as they won the group and left the frequent participants to try and claim their at another time of asking.

Elsewhere, we could see national teams qualify that we have never seen at the finals. Kazakhstan and Luxembourg’s impressive showing in the group phase and the Nations League have made them surprising potential candidates to appear in Germany, as has Estonia. Although they were poor in qualifying, they are only two games away from potentially playing in their first-ever major competition since the split of the USSR.

Luxembourg’s tally of 17 points was really surprising, and in most groups, that would have been enough for an automatic place in the finals, highlighting just how well they actually did!

The world rankings of teams can be impacted when playing in the 2024 European qualifiers, as they are classified as competitive matches. Wins can improve a team’s position on the leaderboard as they will be able to obtain points that contribute to their position. Conversely, if they are beaten, they can lose points. This can then see them slip down the rankings as other teams can potentially close the gap with their own victories.

A positive qualification period can be very productive for national teams, as it can help boost their confidence and provide them with momentum as they head into the 2024 UEFA Euro Championships. Teams will be buoyant from the fact that they had qualified – especially those who were not expected to – and while there can be a lengthy break between the qualification period and the finals, the positive moods will last.

Football fans who wish to watch the play-offs and see which three teams will take the final spots on the road to Germany this summer can watch the games of their choice through certain broadcasters.

Information about which TV broadcaster will show the games will be made available as and when it becomes available.

The 2024 UEFA European Championship Qualifiers are almost over, but they have been as exciting as ever. While we await to see which teams will take the final three spots for the finals this summer, plenty of excitement can still be had.

While international football can often be called “boring”, these qualifiers showed that they were anything but that, as there were a lot of interesting stories to have been created from another successful qualification process!

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