Croatia missed out on their first international trophy after losing on penalties to Spain in the Nations League final.

Dani Carvajal calmly chipped home the winning effort to seal a 5-4 victory on spot-kicks after Unai Simon had saved from Bruno Petkovic.

The contest in Rotterdam had finished goalless after extra time.

It is Spain’s first international trophy for 11 years, since their victory at Euro 2012.

“We’re so happy, it was a really tough game and this is so difficult to do,” said Spain midfielder Rodri, who was named man of the match and for whom this trophy follows winning the Treble with Manchester City and scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final.

Rodri thinks this could be the start of another succession of Spanish titles, with the squad featuring several exciting young players including Gavi, Ansu Fati and Yeremy Pino.

“This generation promises a lot. We were very strong mentally. There are things to improve, but winning is always good – we have to celebrate,” he said.

It did not matter, however, as Simon kept out the subsequent effort from Petkovic, allowing Carvajal to be the hero.

“For us it was a unique opportunity, we went out early in another tournament and today we had to take advantage,” Real Madrid defender Carvajal told Spanish broadcaster TVE.

He was referring to the 2022 World Cup, where Spain suffered a shock last-16 exit at the hands of Morocco via a shootout where they failed to score a single penalty.

Carvajal added: “We had confidence with the penalties and it went well, I knew how I was going to shoot it, and I knew I was going to be sixth. I wanted to take it ‘Panenka’ style and it went well.”