Hosts Italy meet Spain and Belgium take on France in the 2021 UEFA Nations League semi-finals: get acquainted with the teams.
Article top media content
Hosts Italy meet Spain and Belgium take on France in the UEFA Nations League finals in October 2021.Nations League finals in depth
Previous meetings: Italy's record in 34 encounters with Spain is W9 D13 L12, with their most recent meeting coming in the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2020, where the Azzurri got the better of Luis Enrique's side on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Italy also eliminated Spain from EURO 2016, winning 2-0 in Saint-Denis in the round of 16 – 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)
Coach: Roberto Mancini
The man who led Italy to their second EURO trophy after over 50 years of wait. Before that, Mancini won club trophies as a coach in Italy, England and Turkey, having also been one of the best Italian forwards of his generation – though never that lucky with the Azzurri. Can he now lead them to a second trophy in a single year?
"Spain are a great team," Mancini said after the finals draw. "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: Gianluigi Donnarumma
Player of the Tournament at UEFA EURO 2020, the 22-year-old goalkeeper calmly underpinned Italy's success and was a star performer in the Azzurri's semi-final and final shoot-out successes.
One to watch: Federico Chiesa
The son of ex-Italy forward Enrico Chiesa, the 23-year-old caught the eye for his speed and determination on the wing at EURO 2020, scoring against Austria and Spain in the knockout phase.
Group A4 winners: W3 D2 L1 F13 A3
Top scorer: Ferran Torres (4)
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. Having previously guided Barcelona to UEFA Champions League glory in 2015, he is now hoping to lift a first trophy at the Spain helm, with recent EURO conquerors Italy up first: "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 Busquets
"This team will be back," promised the Barcelona midfielder after Spain lost out to Italy on penalties in the EURO 2020 semi-finals. He is now very much a senior member of this Spain squad, but no less indispensable.
One to watch: Pedri
A pass master at 18, the Barcelona man came to EURO 2020 with just four caps and left with the Young Player of the Tournament award. Luis Enrique's assessment of his performances? "Incredible, unique."
Previous meetings: Belgium have had slightly the better of their 74 meetings with neighbours France to date: W30 D19 L25. The sides last met in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, Les Bleus prevailing 1-0 en route to becoming world champions.
Group A2 winners: W5 D0 L1 F16 A6
Top scorer: Romelu Lukaku (5)
Coach: Roberto Martínez
A Spanish midfielder who carved out a niche in English football, Martínez has been in charge of Belgium since 2016. Looking ahead to the semi-final meeting with France, he said: "It will be a fantastic game, but I think it has been such a successful campaign in the Nations League that whoever you were going to meet, it was going to be that sort of big-game feeling."
Key player: Kevin De Bruyne
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season continues to flourish for club and country. Martínez's creative heartbeat.
One to watch: Jeremy Doku
The golden generation still dominate Belgium's starting XI, but 19-year-old winger Doku battled his way into the reckoning at UEFA EURO 2020. Key adjectives: quick, direct, brave.
Group A3 winners: W5 D1 L0 F12 A5
Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (3)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Deschamps captained Les Bleus to victory at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000. France boss since 2012, he then led them to World Cup glory in 2018 and is keen to bounce back in familiar surroundings after a disappointing showing at UEFA EURO 2020. "I'm really happy to be playing this game in Turin, in a stadium that I know well and where I have a lot of friends and acquaintances," said the ex-Juventus midfielder. "It'll be a great game which will be hopefully played with a great atmosphere in a stadium full of supporters."
Key player: Antoine Griezmann
The influence of EURO 2016's best player and top scorer on the team has deepened with time; he also scored three and set up seven in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying, and is now ahead of Zinédine Zidane in France's all-time top scorer ranking.
One to watch: Marcus Thuram
The son of Deschamps' one-time France team-mate Lilian Thuram earned a squad place at EURO 2020 but got only a few minutes on the pitch. The tall left-sided winger is now eager to prove he can be as effective for Les Bleus as he is with Mönchengladbach.
Match for third place
Sunday 10 October: Juventus Stadium, Turin (15:00 CET)
Sunday 10 October: San Siro, Milan
All kick-offs 20:45 CET unless otherwise stated.