A 10/10 performance from Lionel Messi and his team, helped them to grab The Finalissima title after beating the current EURO Champions Italy for three goals.
First-half goals by Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria put the South American champions in complete control against an Italy side who were back at Wembley 11 months after beating England to win the delayed Euro 2020.
Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala scored to lead Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Italy on Wednesday in the first Finalissima meeting of the South American and European champions. The opener was created by Lionel Messi’s solo brilliance taking him past Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and the Argentina captain squared for Martinez to slot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 28th minute.
Martinez turned creator in first-half stoppage time by threading a pass through for Di Maria to chip Donnarumma, having got past Giorgio Chiellini. The 37-year-old Italy captain came off at halftime of his 117th and final international appearance. The win was wrapped up in the fourth minute of stoppage time, with Messi again providing the assist — this time for the substitute Dybala to strike low into the net.
Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, lifted his second international trophy with Argentina in 11 months. This win is all the more special for Argentina’s number 10 because the last La Finallisima holder was another Argentina number 10, one Diego Maradona.
In a one-off meeting of the European and South American champions, the latter came strong, courtesy a player of the match performance from Lionel Messi, who’d put in a player of the tournament performance last summer to win the Copa America.
The 34-year old has now made 46 goal contributions in the 45 finals that he has played in his career. And judging by the two assists that he recorded on his record-extending 161st Argentina appearance last night, there is no sign of Messi slowing down with the chance to win a first World Cup title later this year.
It was a second trophy lift at Wembley for Messi, who had won the Champions League Final here with Barcelona in 2011, beating Manchester United 3-1 and putting in another player of the match performance. The celebrations for La Albiceleste were not so different as they threw their captain in the air, forming a huddle around him. Same as they did after their Copa America win last year in Brazil.
It was a painful return for the Italians to Wembley Stadium, who’d won their Euro title last year on the same turf. The Azzuri will miss playing at the World Cup for the second successive time.