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UEFA Women's Nations League final preview: Spain vs France

Spain play France in Seville on Wednesday to decide the first UEFA Women's Nations League title.

Spain stars like Aitana Bonmatí and Jenni Hermoso take on France with an attack spearheaded by Eugénie Le Sommer and Marie-Antoinette Katoto
Spain stars like Aitana Bonmatí and Jenni Hermoso take on France with an attack spearheaded by Eugénie Le Sommer and Marie-Antoinette Katoto UEFA

Spain play France in the first UEFA Women's Nations League final on Wednesday in Seville.

Spain vs France at a glance

When: Wednesday 28 February (19:00 CET kick-off)
Where: La Cartuja de Sevilla Stadium, Seville
What: UEFA Women's Nations League final 
How to follow
: Build-up and live coverage can be found here

What do you need to know?

A year ago neither Spain nor France had ever reached a major senior women's international final. But Spain now go into this match having won the FIFA Women's World Cup in August by beating England in Sydney, while France, after coming so close over the year and having collected several youth and club titles, are now in the decider they have threatened to make for many years.

Spain have lost no momentum since becoming world champions. They won five of their six games in the league stage of this competition (the only loss at home to Italy when Spain's final place had been confirmed), scoring a competition-high 23 goals. On Friday they saw off the Netherlands 3-0 in Seville courtesy of goals from World Cup stars Jenni Hermoso, Aitana Bonmatí and Ona Batlle and were also able to bring on debutant Vicky López. The 17-year-old is the latest of many Spain players to prove themselves with a string of spectacular performances at youth level, and who only in May was facing France in a WU17 EURO final, suffering a heartbreaking 3-2 loss despite scoring twice.

Women's Nations League finals: Spain

France were the only unbeaten side across League A, and held off a determined Germany 2-1 in front of more than 30,000 fans at OL Stadium on Friday, Kadidatou Diani's powerful finish quickly added to by a penalty from Sakina Karchaoui, her first international goal on her 69th cap. Les Bleues might be seeking a first senior title, but 15 of their squad (including Vicki Bècho, called up to replace the unavailable Sandy Baltimore at the weekend) have won European Championship or World Cup honours at youth level, five of them at the 2016 WU19 EURO, when they edged the final against a Spain side including Maite Oroz, Bonmatí and Lucía García.

Much of the Spain squad had similar youth honours prior to their World Cup triumph, and their recent success has helped them beat their attendance record more than once in this Nations League campaign. Most recently, 21,856 watched them beat the Netherlands at La Cartuja de Sevilla, where they return to face France, who they have never defeated in 13 previous meetings.

Form guide

Head-to-head:
Played 13
Spain wins 0
France wins 10
Draws 3
Spain goals 8
France goals 22

Most recent meeting:
France 2-0 Spain (Le Sommer 27, D Cascarino 76)
31/08/2019, friendly, Clermont-Ferrand

Women's Nations League finals: France

Nations League results

Spain

Spain 3-0 Netherlands highlights

Group A4 winners

22/09/2023: Sweden 2-3 Spain
26/09/2023: Spain 5-0 Switzerland
27/10/2023: Italy 0-1 Spain
31/10/2023: Switzerland 1-7 Spain
01/12/2023: Spain 2-3 Italy
05/12/2023: Spain 5-3 Sweden

Semi-finals

23/02/2023: Spain 3-0 Netherlands

France

France 2-1 Germany highlights

Group A2 winners

22/09/2023: France 2-0 Portugal
26/09/2023: Austria 0-1 France
27/10/2023: Norway 1-2 France
31/10/2023: France 0-0 Norway
01/12/2023: France 3-0 Austria
05/12/2023: Portugal 0-1 France

Semi-finals

23/02/2023: France 2-1 Germany

What the coaches say

Montse Tomé, Spain coach: "No, we are not relaxed [after having qualified for the Olympics], impossible. We know that we are facing a great opponent. We know the characteristics of France, their strengths and weaknesses. The team is looking forward to this final. The entire coaching staff is convinced that the team are not relaxed. The team are confident, very prepared.

"France are a team we have been analysing for some time. We all know the type of footballers that are on that team. They are players with the ability to move very quickly. We have to be very attentive and very aware of these transitions."

Hervé Renard, France coach: "First of all you have to be happy to be here. It's always a huge opportunity to participate in a final, whatever the competition. It's a special moment for the French women's team so you have to savour it.

"Spain were deserved world champions. They are the team who played the most beautiful football and it is fair that they are world champions. They are a team which score a lot of goals but which also concede so we will have to play on their weaknesses. Like every team, there are strong points and weak points. But to summarise, Spain have more strong points than weak points."

2016 U19 final rematch: France 2-1 Spain highlights

2024 Olympic women's football tournament

AFP via Getty Images

By reaching the final, Spain have ensured they will make their Olympic women's football debut this summer, joining hosts France in the tournament from 25 July to 10 August.

Since Les Bleues automatically qualified, Europe's remaining berth will be decided by the Nations League third-place play-off between beaten semi-finalists Netherlands and Germany, starting 20:45 CET on Wednesday at Abe Lenstra Stadium, Heerenveen. Germany took gold in 2016, only the second European winners after Norway in 2000, and have also won three bronze medals, while the Netherlands made the quarter-finals on debut in 2021.

Also qualified so far are defending champions Canada, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and four-time winners the United States, with two teams from Africa to be decided in April.

Matches will be played in Bordeaux, Décines, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Paris (with the final at Parc des Princes) and Saint-Étienne.

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