In a thrilling match against Croatia, Spain's young national football team secured their victory in the third edition of the Nations League. Italy had earlier won the third place game.
Spain Takes the Title
On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Spain's young national football team won the Nations League final against Croatia in a penalty shootout, defeating the "golden generation" led by Luka Modric for their first title. After 90 minutes of play and extra time, the score remained 0-0.
Dani Carvajal secured Spain's first tournament win since the 2012 European Championship from the penalty spot in a lively "away game" in Rotterdam. Lovro Majer and Bruno Petkovic missed their penalties for Croatia. Aymeric Laporte missed Spain's only penalty.
Modric Remains Title-less
With this loss, Modric failed to add the title to his silvers and bronzes from the past two World Cups, much to the disappointment of his over 30,000 travelling fans in the stadium. The fans even sang a song urging him to continue his national team career.
Both teams were neutralized for most of the game, refereed by Bundesliga's Felix Zwayer. Despite their strong defense, second-place finishers Croatia had little space against Spain's time on the ball, but neither team managed to score.
Italy Takes Third Place
In the third place game, Italy defeated Netherlands 3-2 in a lively match in Enschede, with Federico Dimarco, Davide Frattesi, and Federico Chiesa scoring for the team coached by Roberto Mancini. Steven Bergwijn and Georginio Wijnaldum scored for Netherlands, who had failed to advance past the semifinals against Croatia, while Italy had lost to Spain 1-2.