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Messi shines as Argentina trounce Italy to win Finalissima trophy

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Sulaimon Jamiu

The Albiceleste of Argentina have won the 2022 of “Finalissima” which means grand final, after beating Italy 3-0 at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.

The tie was just the third edition of its kind, previously called the Artemio Franchi Cup, Lionel Scaloni’s side win the trophy for the second time, after winning the last version 29 years ago too.

The match usually involves the champions of South America slugging it out with the champions of Europe in a one-off tie, with Argentina winning the 2021 Copa America and Italy coming out victorious in the same stadium at Euro 2020 last summer.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez gave the South Americans the lead in just 28 minutes into the first half after being set up by Lionel Messi, the team’s captain.

Argentina then doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time, with Angel Di Maria, who appears to be edging closer to a free transfer move from Paris Saint-Germain to Juventus, getting the goal with an excellent dinked finish.

Italy central defender Giorgio Chiellini was one of three substitutes brought off by manager Roberto Mancini at the interval, with the game being his 117th and final cap for the Europeans.

The Copa America holders continued to dominate the game in London, and despite the best efforts of Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Italy goal, Argentina found a third in second-half stoppage time through free agent Paulo Dybala to seal an emphatic victory.

The Albiceleste now prepare for an international friendly against Estonia on Sunday, whilst Italy prepare for four quick-fire fixtures in the Nations League against Hungary, England, and Germany twice, to make it five games in 14 days for Roberto Mancini’s side.

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