UEFA Nations League: Croatia vs Spain live
In a highly anticipated clash, Croatia, still pursuing their first major international title, will collide with Spain in the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday. The encounter takes place at Rotterdam’s De Kuip, where Croatia impressively defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in the semifinals, while Spain secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Italy. Kickoff is set for 6:45 pm (GMT).
Following impressive performances in the last two World Cups, Croatia’s talented generation, led by the age-defying Luka Modric, finds itself on the cusp of international glory once again. This will be their second appearance in a final, recalling their unfortunate loss to France in Russia five years ago. Despite a slow start in the Nations League, Croatia triumphed in their last five matches, displaying offensive prowess but struggling to maintain clean sheets. Croatia have developed a knack for performing well in extra time or penalty shootouts, winning their last three such matches, including nerve-wracking victories over Japan and Brazil in the 2022 World Cup. That may come in handy if they are to win their first-ever international trophy.
Newly-appointed Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente sought a reaction from his team after a surprising Euro 2024 qualifying defeat to Scotland, and he received just that in their well-deserved Nations League semi-final win against Italy. Having narrowly missed the Nations League title in 2020-21, Spain remain determined to secure their first major trophy since their Euro 2012 victory. Under the guidance of coach De la Fuente, they reached the final of the Tokyo Olympics but settled for a silver medal. While Spain have recently dominated their encounters with Croatia, the latter’s seasoned players recognize the final as a potential last opportunity to claim a major international title.
Spain have a slight advantage in recent head-to-head encounters, winning three out of the last five meetings against Croatia, who have secured victory twice.
Finals are always hard to call, especially between two quality teams. However, considering Croatia’s experience, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness them clinching their first international title.