UEFA Nations League semi-final preview

Hosts Italy meet Spain and Belgium take on France in the UEFA Nations League finals in October 2021.

Nations League finals in-depth

Italy vs Spain

Wednesday 6 October, 20:45 CET: San Siro, Milan

EURO 2012 final highlights: Spain 4-0 Italy

EURO 2012 final highlights: Spain 4-0 Italy

Previous meetings: Italy’s record in 33 encounters with Spain is W9 D12 L12, with their most recent meeting coming at UEFA EURO 2016, where the Azzurri beat Spain 2-0 in Saint-Denis in the round of 16. That was some consolation for Spain’s 4-0 win in the final of UEFA EURO 2012 in Kyiv.


Group A1 winners: W3 D3 L0 F7 A2
Top scorer: Domenico Berardi (2)

Mancini on Italy's Spain challenge

Mancini on Italy’s Spain challenge

: Italy 1-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina
07/09: Netherlands 0-1 Italy
11/10: Poland 0-0 Italy
14/10: Italy 1-1 Netherlands
15/11: Italy 2-0 Poland
18/11: Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 Italy

Coach: Roberto Mancini
One of the best forwards of his generation, though never that lucky with the Azzurri, Mancini is eager to sparkle as an international coach after winning club trophies in Italy, England and Turkey.

“Spain are a great team. They have made some changes in terms of their squad, but they can count on an incredible pool of players in this moment, in the past few years. So they are rebuilding the team and they are doing it well, just like us.”

Key player: Marco Verratti
Like his coach, the midfielder is yet to replicate his club form with the national team. Mancini’s possession-based football, however, seems just perfect for the Paris man.

One to watch: Gianluigi Donnarumma
At 21, goalkeeper Donnarumma is already a veteran, having been playing first-team football for years, but he has big gloves to fill as he looks to replace Gianluigi Buffon.


Watch every Spain goal on the road to the final four

Watch every Spain goal on the road to the final four

Group A4 winners: W3 D2 L1 F13 A3
Top scorer: Ferrán Torres (4)

03/09: Germany 1-1 Spain
06/09: Spain 4-0 Ukraine
10/10: Spain 1-0 Switzerland
13/10: Ukraine 1-0 Spain
14/11: Switzerland 1-1 Spain
17/11: Spain 6-0 Germany

Coach: Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique stepped down in June 2019 for personal reasons but returned to his post five months later in November after UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying had concluded. He previously guided Barcelona to UEFA Champions League glory in 2015.

“What’s certain is that we and Italy have followed a similar, parallel path, in the sense that we are energising the national teams with young players and, of course, by improving our styles.”

Key player: Sergio Ramos
The glue that holds the defence together, the most-capped European player of all time also features among their top ten goalscorers, partly after pulling rank on penalty duty.

One to watch: Ansu Fati
The Barcelona forward broke a 95-year-old record when he became Spain’s youngest scorer, registering in the 4-0 victory over Ukraine aged 17 years and 311 days.

Belgium vs France
Thursday 7 October, 20:45 CET: Juventus Stadium, Turin

Previous meetings: Belgium have had slightly the better of their 74 meetings with neighbours France to date:…

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