Messi wins Finalissima with Argentina (Sports News) – A year after winning his first international trophy, Lionel Messi scores another major achievement after he and South American champions Argentina beat reigning European titlists Italy 3-0 in the Finalissima at Wembley Stadium. With the victory, Messi now ties arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo in international trophies (the latter previously won the Euro and the UEFA Nations League).
Messi wins Finalissima – Match Recap
While he did not score any goals, Messi was instrumental in setting up crucial plays in the game, including a glide past Giovanni di Lorenzo to set up Lautaro Martinez who then struck low to open the scoring. Martinez would then set Angel Di Maria to do the second attack. Messi came through again in stoppage time when he teed up subtitute Paulo Dybala for the final goal.
Apart from his two assists, the Paris Saint-Germain star also created the most chances, completed the most dribbles and won all of his duels.
Messi wins Finalissima – A Win 29 Years In The Making
The match is the first one between the two continental champions after 29 years. It is considered a revival the Artemio Franchi Cup, that was played for twice before. The first was when then Euro champions France beat South American counterparts Uruguay in 1985. The next was in 1993, when the Diego Maradona led-Argentina beat Denmark on penalties.
The win by the Lionel Scaloni-coached Albiceleste was done in front of a crowd of 87,112 at Wembley. Incidentally, this was also the place where losing side Italy won the European Championship last year by beating England in a penalty shootout.
Messi wins Finalissima – In His Own Words
It was the second win for Messi at Wembley, who earlier triumphed in the legendary venue in 2011 when he and Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League final.
The 34-year old was in awe of the ecstatic atmosphere at the venue. “It was a beautiful venue, full of Argentines,” Messi said after the match. “What we experienced here was beautiful.”
“We’re here to fight anyone. Today was a nice test because Italy is a great team,” the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner continued. “We knew it was going to be a nice match and a nice setting to be a champion.”
Messi wins Finalissima – Adulation From His Teammates
After the game, Messi was the person everyone wanted to be with. His Albiceleste companions were also starstruck, with bonafide stars like Paulo Dybala, Nicolas Otamendi and Juan Foyth all wanting to have their picture taken with him. Even a couple of officials also were keen to have a photo op with the Argentinian captain.
And of course, Messi was gracious to give in to the photo and autograph requests, posing both with his teammates and fans.
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