Lionel Messi stars as Argentina coast to victory in inaugural UEFA Finalissima

1 June 2022 0 By Total Football News

Lionel Messi starred as Argentina emerged victorious over Italy in the inaugural Finalissima at Wembley stadium.

The new fixture, which pits the winners of the European Championship against the Copa America Champions, is supposed in theory to be one of the closest and high quality encounters in world football.

In truth it was a relatively one-sided affair, with Argentina romping home to victory over an Italy side that failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup courtesy of a 3-0 scoreline.

Lionel Messi was back to his best to set up the first goal, putting the ball on a plate for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez to poke home from four yards out.

Then, PSG teammate Angel di Maria got in on the act, finding himself on the end of a brilliant run from Martinez to dink the ball over onrushing teammate Gianluigi Donnarumma to double the Albiceste’s lead.

Finally, in the dying moments, now-free agent Paulo Dybala rounded off the scoring, pouncing after a mesmerising run from Messi to fire home from the edge of the area.

In truth, it could have been more, as Italy showed signs of the side that had been defeated by north Macedonia more than that which went unbeaten to the final of Euro 2020 11 months ago.

Messi’s final dance?

For many, the World cup will be their last chance to shine on the biggest international stage, and Lionel Messi will almost certainly be one of them. The Argentine will turn 39 years old midway through the 2026 tournament, suggesting perhaps that the 2022 edition in Qatar could be his last dance.

The same can be said for Cristiano Ronaldo, the consummate professional who is nearly 3 years Messi’s senior, and even with his dedication is unlikely to be a prominent figure for Portugal heading to the USA.

It seems likely to be the pair’s final outings on a world stage.

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