Who is playing who in the Nations League Final Four and when?
The relatively new mini-tournament reduces the top seeds down to a quartet who will battle it out for the title.
We’ve known the nations that will feature in the Final Four of the Nations League for some months, and that the brief European competition will be played out 14-18 June. Well, on Wednesday we found out how the semi-finals look, with the draw taking place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Nations League Final Four: semi-finals
The draw handed us a familiar rivalry in Spain vs Italy and also the Netherlands vs Croatia, the latter having recently finished third in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The four countries were winners of their respective League A groups last year.
The Dutch will host Modric and co. in Rotterdam on 14 June while Italy and Spain clash in Enschede the following day. The winners then advance to the final in Rotterdam on 18 June, with the third-place playoff earlier the same day in Enschede.
Spain were runners-up to France in the last edition in 2021, first eliminating hosts Italy in their semi-final with a Ferran Torres double in a 2-1 victory in Milan. Italy and the Netherlands also return for a second appearance at the finals while this is Croatia’s first time. The Italians were third in 2021 while the Dutch runners-up in the inaugural event in Portugal in 2019.
The Nations League is a biennial competition contested by all European countries, who are divided into a four tier league structure. It has effectively replaced friendly matches previously played on dates on the international match calendar.
2023 Nations League Final Four schedule
14 June: Netherlands v Croatia, Rotterdam
15 June: Spain v Italy, Enschede
Third place play off
18 June, Enschede
18 June, Rotterdam
For the new Spanish manager Luis de la Fuente, the Final Four will be his first major appointment as coach after the first two qualifiers for the 2024 European Championships, to be held in Germany. In those Spain will play against Norway (Malaga, 25 March 25) and Scotland (Glasgow, 28 March).