London: Argentina, the powerhouse of football, fired with all cylinders yesterday at Wembley to outclass Italy by 3-0 in the La Finalissima. Messi was the architect of his team’s victory.
The Argentine captain has been in tremendous form since winning the Copa America last year, defeating arch-rival Brazil in the final.
The 87,000 sellout crowd at Wembley came to watch a thrilling match between Argentina and European champions Italy, but the match turned one-sided as the South American football power never allowed its opponent to compete during the entire match.
Argentina went on to take a comfortable two-goal lead in the first half of the prestigious friendly. Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria netted once each after persistent attacks on the Azzurri goal.
But Messi thrilled the huge crowd and entertained them with his imperious display of football. The 34-year-old was seen all around the ground and was the mainstay of his team.
Tossed up in the air by his overjoyed teammates after the final whistle, Messi was in a jubilant mood and said, “Today was a nice test because Italy is a great side.” We knew it was going to be a wonderful game and a nice setting in which to be champions.
Argentina’s first goal came when a solo run by Messi created a golden opportunity for Lautaro Martinez to dodge the Italian goalie to give a goal lead to Argentina in the 28th minute.
Victory against Italy was a memorable moment for Argentina. It would provide lots of confidence as they have qualified for this year’s football World Cup to be played in Qatar.
The Messi-led team got a shot in the arm after ending its 28-year draught in the Copa America, winning it in 2021. The 32-match winning streak speaks a lot about a team’s dominance.
“Everything changed after the Copa America. Now we are enjoying ourselves and things are happening much more easily. We are excited but must keep our feet on the ground, “Di Maria said.
It was a heartbreaking return for Italy at Wembley, because 11 months ago the Azzurri lifted the European championship at the same venue, defeating hosts England in the final on penalties. Roberto Mancini’s team hasn’t done well since that triumph.
Unfortunately, the European champion failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup after suffering an embarrassing loss. They failed to qualify for the World Cup after suffering a humiliating loss to North Macedonia in their play-off in Palermo.
The next goal of Messi’s team is to win the World Cup in Qatar to pay a rich tribute to its former winning captain of the 1986 World Cup, none other than one of the greatest footballers of all time, Diego Maradona.