Croatia have not won a major international trophy and this is their opportunity to win the 2022-23 Nations League when they clash with Spain in Sunday’s final in Rotterdam.
Joselu scored a late winner for Spain as they knocked Italy out in the semifinals, while Croatia defeated the Netherlands in extra time in the final four. Spain have now reached back-to-back Nation League finals.
This is first meeting between the two sides since the round of 16 in the 2020 European Championships, which was played in 2021. Spain won 5-3 after extra time in what was a dramatic fixture.
Zlatko Dalic has put together a talented team that has developed a certain penchant for winning knockout games of football in extra time, a feat they pulled off again when downing Netherlands in an entertaining semi-final during the week. Spain, meanwhile, edged Italy via a late Joselu goal.
Croatia finished third in the World Cup last year and runner-up in 2018, and winning the Nations League would cap 37-year-old Luka Modric’s international career in what would be the Real Madrid midfielder’s 166th game for his country.
Spain, meanwhile, edged past Italy on Thursday thanks to a late winner from late-blooming striker Joselu, and will be hoping to make amends for their defeat to France in the final of the 2021 edition of this tournament, which is UEFA’s secondary competition.