- Title: Fans gather in Milan ahead of the Nations League final at San Siro
- Date: 10th October 2021
- Summary: MILAN, ITALY (OCTOBER 10, 2021) (REUTERS) SPANISH FANS CHANTING IN PIAZZA DUOMO IN FRONT OF THE CATHEDRAL SPANISH FANS POSING FOR PHOTO IN PIAZZA DUOMO FRENCH FAN WAIVING FLAG IN PIAZZA DUOMO VARIOUS OF SPANISH FANS CHANTING SPANISH AND FRENCH FANS SHAKING HANDS FRENCH FANS CHANTING AND JUMPING IN PIAZZA DEL DUOMO (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FAN, JAROD MEMOUNE, SAYING: "I think it will be a good match, we will win 3-0, with a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe. Thank you all, go the Bleu!" (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FAN, HENRY CHERIT, SAYING: "I really hope we will win, being in the final is always difficult. Spain played very well against Italy. It is a pity that Italy is not in the final because we are in Italy and therefore it would be nice." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH FAN, JAVIER JULIA', SAYING: "I'm nervous because France has a great team, but I have faith in Spain. Luis Enrique has always been very controversial, but the team that led to this Uefa Nation League has been pretty good, really. " (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH FAN, SERGIO MUNI, SAYING: "We are delighted to be here in this wonderful stadium. We are doing an Erasmus in Rome and we are super happy to be here." SPANISH FAN, JAVI BERROCAL, SAYING: "We want the match to start, to have fun, and for Spain to win!" SPANISH FANS CHANTING IN FRONT OF SAN SIRO STADIUM UEFA NATION LEAGUE BOARD AT SAN SIRO STADIUM FRENCH AND SPANISH FLAGS AT SAN SIRO STADIUM SAN SIRO STADIUM
- Embargoed: 24th October 2021 16:41
- Keywords: Milan Spain v France UEFA Nations League final fans
- Location: MILAN, ITALY
- City: MILAN, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Europe,Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001EYKSSOV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Soccer fans gathered with excitement ahead of the UEFA Nations League final between Spain and France on Sunday (October 10).
French and Spanish fans were all in good humor in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan ahead of the game.
"I think it will be a good match, we will win 3-0, with a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe. Thank you all, go the Bleu!", 21-years-old French fan Jarod Memoune said.
"We want the match to start, to have fun, and for Spain to win!", Spanish fan, Javi Berrocal, said, before entering San Siro Stadium.
Spain and France meet at the San Siro stadium in Milan on Sunday in the Nations League final after a week in which the competition, in just its second edition, truly delivered on its promise.
UEFA launched the Nations League in 2018 amid much skepticism about whether such a competition was needed or desired given the prominence of the European Championship and World Cup for national teams.
The argument from European soccer's governing body was that replacing friendly matches with competitive games in a mini-group format, with a Final Four tournament at the end, would deliver better entertainment value for fans and more meaningful action for the players.
This week's games, delivered in a rapid playoff format, certainly provided the quality and excitement fans crave, and no one who witnessed them, either in the venues or on television, would have considered them in any way 'meaningless' for the players.
In fact, in this concentrated format, the competition delivers the business end of a tournament without all the labouring through a group stage, the travel between multiple venues, and the slow burn build-up throughout a month of games.
Spain's 2-1 win over European champions Italy on Wednesday, followed by France's thrilling comeback to beat Belgium 3-2 in Turin a day later, were games which could have graced the latter stages of either of the established international tournaments.
Sunday's final promises more of the same.
(Production: Alex Fraser, Oriana Boselli)
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