The final of the European League of Nations on Sunday at the San Siro stadium in the Italian city of Milan will be a fascinating confrontation between the Spanish youth and the experience of the players of France, world champion 3 years ago.
Both teams qualified for the final after two good performances, as “La Roja” overtook their Italian counterpart, European champion last July, 2-1, and stopped a series of 37 matches in which the latter has not lost more than 3 years.
As for France, they turned the situation around against Belgium after being led by two goals at the end of the first half to an exciting 3-2 victory when their player Theo Hernandez scored a goal in the last breath. .
The meeting is the first between the two teams in a major tournament since Spain defeated France 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the 2012 European Cup with a brace from midfielder Xabi Alonso, who then played his 100th international match, on his way to crown the continental title at the expense of Italy by four clear rounds.
Spain coach Luis Enrique is building on a young group that recently won, especially at the last European Cup, reaching the semi-finals before losing on penalties to the Italy, and his most prominent elements are Barcelona midfielder Badri (18), and his Catalan team colleague Gavi, who competed against Italy in the Nations League semi-finals and became the youngest player in the history of the Spanish national team to do so, breaking a record at the age of 85.
Ferran Torres, 21, the English striker for Manchester City and the double against Italy, also shines in the ranks of Spain.
Gavi (17 years and 60 days old) broke the record of Angel Thobeta Redondo, who first wore the Spanish national team jersey at the age of 17 and 284 days old in an international friendly against Czechoslovakia (1-0) in 1936.
Enrique congratulated him saying, “It amazes you to see him play at this level.” I have known him for a long time, he was a leading player in the Barcelona reserve team. I have no doubt about the level it will reach in the future.
But Spain also have experienced players, through Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and defender Cesar Azpilicueta, and Enrique spoke about his team’s performance since he received his training: The best thing for me since I took the lead of the national team coaching team, which we played the way we wanted regardless of who the opposing team was.
The Spanish national team are playing this tournament in the absence of several key players, including Alvaro Morata, Thiago Alcantara and Ansu Fati, who is back after an injury that kept him from playing for several months.
As for the France team, it has a great deal of experience in its ranks, which is manifested in its different ranks, starting with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, captain of the world champion team of his country, the new Manchester United defender Raphaël Varane, and his colleague at the Red Devils, midfielder Paul Pogba, in addition to the terrifying attacking trio of Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
Coach Didier Deschamps said: “I watched the semi-final match between Italy and Spain and I can say that the latter team played at a high level and forced Italy to defend. “
“The Spanish national team have the capacity to deny their opponents possession of the ball,” he added. He deserves to be in the final. We need to have the ball and how to get it back. We play to win the cup. Sunday there will be a happy team and another sad one, hope we can be the happy party.