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The finals of the UNL get underway on the evening of Wednesday 14 June, as the Netherlands and Croatia battle it out at De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam. The Oranje will hope that home advantage sees them through, while the Blazers are hoping for an upset.
“We are building for a new phase of the Dutch national team, but this Nations League presents us with a great opportunity and we would love to win the trophy in front of our own fans,” said coach Ronald Koeman. “But we first have a very difficult match against Croatia, who have been one of the best teams in Europe and the world for several years now.”
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has underlined his side’s achievements in recent years: “We are the only national team that was among the top four teams at both the World Cup in Qatar and in the current UEFA Nations League cycle. We made the front pages worldwide by winning a match against the world’s greatest team Brazil, and along with France, we are the only team to have won two medals at the two most recent World Cups.”
The second semifinal is set for Thursday 15 June and sees Spain take on Italy at De Grolsch Veste in Enschede. La Furia Roja are stringing from a shock 2-0 defeat to Scotland in March in Euro 2024 qualifiers, with coach Luis de la Fuente under pressure to right the ship quickly.
“At this high level, any mistake costs you. But you shouldn't blame the players. It serves as an experience that any small incident tilts the balance of the match,” said the Spain coach.
Italy, meanwhile, need to perform strongly in the Nations League to reassert themselves as one of the great footballing countries, following their absence from the last two World Cups.
“The fact that three Italian teams reached the final of the UEFA club competitions is very promising,” said Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini. “This shows that Italian football is improving and finding a way to be competitive, even when we don’t have the financial ability to be par with some other teams and leagues. Now the national team needs to continue in this same way.”
The losers and winners of each midweek match will go on to play in the third-place playoff (in Enschede) and final (in Rotterdam) respectively – both games will be played on Sunday 18 June. This will be the third UEFA Nations League final. The first in 2019 saw Portugal defeat the Netherlands 1-0 in Porto, while the second in 2021 saw France defeat Spain 2-1 in Milan.
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UEFA Nations League broadcast details
All times CAT
Wednesday 14 June
20:45: Netherlands v Croatia – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2
Thursday 15 June
20:45: Spain v Italy – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2
Sunday 18 June
15:00: Third-Place Playoff – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2
20:45: Final – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 2