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Spain wins its first major international championship in 11 years on a ‘Panenka’ penalty.

Spain won the UEFA Nations League championship on Sunday, its first international title in 11 years.

After a scoreless draw in extra time at the De Kuip stadium in the Netherlands, a cheeky ‘Panenka’ penalty from Dani Carvajal decided the shootout.

The Real Madrid defender had the guts to fool the custodian and chip the ball through the centre of the goal, a move made famous by the legendary Czech footballer Antonin Panenka.

The goalie “threw himself” every time a penalty kick was taken, and every time Carvajal was about to hit the ball, “I saw that he dived,” he told reporters after the game.

I slowed my kick so he wouldn’t have time to defend himself. The crucial thing is that it went in, making us the winners.

Moments before, goalie Unai Simon had made a save from Lovro Majer, but Aymeric Laporte had lost a golden opportunity for Spain to win the championship.

The Manchester City defender hit the crossbar with his penalty effort, but Simon came up big again to deny Bruno Petkovic of Croatia, giving Carvajal the game-winning attempt.

After Carvajal scored, the Spanish faithful went wild in celebration of their team’s first major international title since the 2012 European Championship.

Grief in Croatia
The joyous moments occurred after a pretty gloomy, scoreless game in which neither team performed particularly well.

Even though they had the most supporters in the arena, Croatia’s supporters appeared devastated when the final buzzer sounded.

It was also likely Luka Modric’s final opportunity to win an international trophy as captain of Croatia.

Modric led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final and to a bronze medal performance in Qatar at 2022, but he was unable to bring home the trophy.

The 37-year-old may decide to retire from international duty before getting another shot at a major championship.

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