2022/23 Nations League Finals: Teams involved, fixtures and host country

It’s fair to say that not all of UEFA’s initiatives have been met with universal acclaim, but the establishment of the Nations League has garnered widespread praise.

While the competition is incomparable to football’s major international tournaments, it has reduced the need for meaningless friendlies and has allowed Europe’s behemoths to compete against each other more frequently in a competitive environment.

We’re now into the third iteration of the Nations League following its 2018 inauguration, with the Finals set to take place this summer following a condensed initial phase thanks to the 2022 World Cup.

The finalists have long been decided, and here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Nations League Finals.

The four group winners in League A advanced to the Nations League Finals.

In Group A1, Croatia beat out Denmark and holders France to top spot. Spain edged Portugal to advance into the Finals in A2, while Hungary proved to be the closest competitor to Italy in A3 as England endured a disastrous campaign. The Netherlands cruised in A4 and are the fourth team competing in the 2023 Finals.

The Netherlands was confirmed as the hosts for the 2023 Finals in November 2022.

The games will be played across two stadiums: De Kuip (Rotterdam) and De Grolsch Veste (Enschede). The biggest stadium in the country, the Johan Cruyff Arena, as well as the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven were both unavailable due to previously scheduled concerts.

The first semi-final of the 2023 Finals takes place on 14 June with the mini-tournament concluding on 18 June.

2022/23 Nations League Finals format

The format for the 2023 Finals is simple. The two winners of the semi-finals will advance into the final, while the losers will compete in the third place play-off.

The semi-final ties are played over one leg, with extra time and penalties being used if necessary.

Portugal were crowned the inaugural winners of the Nations League in 2019 on home soil as they beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick got them past Switzerland in the semi-finals, and it was Goncalo Guedes who scored the game’s only goal against the Dutch, who beat England in their semi-final clash.

France won the second iteration in thrilling fashion in 2021. Didier Deschamps’ side came from 2-0 down to beat Belgium in the semi-finals before they overturned a goal deficit against Spain in the final. Mikel Oyarzabal’s opener was quickly cancelled out by Karim Benzema before Kylian Mbappe struck the decisive blow with ten minutes remaining.

The absence of Portugal and France from this year’s Finals mean a new name will be added to the Nations League trophy.

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