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Nations League final fitting end to new show on the tournament scene | Barney Ronay

Portugal’s triumph in a fun and frisky final in Porto crowned what had been thought of as an unnecessary, bolted-on addition to the international calendar

Oh new day! The Nations League! There was an air of bafflement when Uefa unveiled its operatic Nations League anthem two years ago. Here it was, a prancingly self-important hymn to a thing yet to take place, built to pad the ends of the commercial calendar; and for a trophy that resembled at first glance an oversized tinfoil kebab-wrap mounted on a saucepan lid.

Fast forward nine months from the opening movements and one thing is clear. This piecemeal, slightly muted addition to the international schedule has been a success and in more ways than just on the pitch or in the ledger.

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