France wins Nations League 2020/21 (Sports News) – After a heartbreaking exit in the European Championship last summer, France won a thriller of a match as they beat Belgium 2-1 to capture their first-ever UEFA Nations League trophy. This makes France the only European country to win the World Cup (1998, 2018), the European Championship (1984, 2000) and the Nations League (2021).
France Wins Nations League - Game Recap
Supporters of both sides flocked to San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, to witness the second staging of the tournament’s championship game. The first half of the final was a tight one, with both sides unable to break the deadlock. Things picked up in the second half as Mikel Oyarzabal finally opened the scoring in the second half on a running attack and a strike that went past French keeper Hugo Lloris. But the joy of the Spanish were short-lived as Karim Benzema unleashed a curling shot outside the penalty area into the top corner to level the game.
Kylian Mbappe, in an act of redemption from the losing penalty in shot in EURO 2020, delivered a low slot past Unai Simon with ten minutes to go to put Les Bleus on top. Spain, complaining that the goal was offside, requested for a VAR check. Referee Anthony Taylor however confirmed that the goal stood. Thanks to two amazing saves by Lloris down the stretch, the French were able to hold on and win their first major trophy in three years.
Mbappe also added another trophy as he was named the tournament’s Top Scorer, having made two goals and two assists.
France Wins Nations League - Deschamps Praises Benzema
French boss Didier Deschamps also makes history by securing the World Cup and Nations League as a manager, as well as winning a World and European championship as a player for France.
After the win, he praised the team, notably Karim Benzema, who didn’t make the cut for the World Cup-winning squad and was banished for five years, after he played a key role in France’s UNL win.
“Karim is a crucial player and he has proved over two matches that he has very obvious talent, it’s there for all to see,” Deschamps told reporters.”He has improved in different areas, he’s clinical, he plays his part in the build up.”
“From a personal perspective he’s no longer the same person, he’s matured,” Deschamps continues. “He’s been at the highest level for a long while now and I’m delighted he’s able to celebrate tonight with France.”
France Wins Nations League - Enrique Disappointed
Spanish boss Luis Enrique was proud of his side despite their defeat to France “I know that we were able to win against European champions and play almost even with the world champions so for players and the team that is all good,” Luis Enrique told reporters. “The important thing is that the team maintains its personality and will to win.”
He also laments the referees’ decision on Mbappe’s deciding goal. “It seemed like a clear offside to me, but I’m not talking about anything I can’t control. It leaves a bad taste because you see the sad faces of the players and fans at full time.”
France Wins Nations League - Italy Wins Third
Italy, on the other hand, secured a 3rd place finish when they defeated the other losing semi-finalist Belgium, 2-1 which took place earlier in the afternoon, local time, at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy.
The 2020/21 European champions kept the number 1 ranked men’s side at bay. As in the championship match, the action was more pronounced in the second half, with Nicolo Barella (46’) and Domenico Berardi (65’P) scoring the winning goals, and Charles de Ketelaere (86’) scoring for Belgium.
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