In a rare sporting spectacle, European and South American football champions will face off in a one-off match at the iconic Wembley Stadium, London on Wednesday (India time). And the occasion is Finalissima 2022 -- an Italy vs Argentina clash. This will be only the third showdown between the CONMEBOL and UEFA champions. The ITA vs ARG football match will be telecast live. (More Football News)
How Teams Qualified
Angel Di Maria scored the all-important goal against Brazil in the CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 final to help Argentina win their first major title in nearly three decades (28 years to be precise). Their record-equalling 15th continental title also meant that Lionel Messi finally lifted a trophy with the national senior team.
And after 29 years, Argentina can defend the Finalissima, also known as the Artemio Franchi Cup, or otherwise the European/South American Nations Cup. The Albiceleste won the previous edition, beating Denmark on penalties at home (Mar del Plata) in 1993. The first edition was won by France, who defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Paris in 1985.
Argentina, who were camping in Spain, have already named a 29-man squad, featuring the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, etc. The clash against the reigning European champions will no doubt serve as a preparation for Lionel Scaloni's men ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
On the contrary, Italy have dramatically failed to qualify for the successive football World Cups. A win for the four-time world champions against Argentina will assuage, to some degree, the pain of missing out on the plane to Qatar. This will be Italy's first appearance in the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions. Azzurri defeated England on penalties in the UEFA Euro 2020 final, thus earning the right to represent Europe.
Roberto Mancini had initially named a jumbo squad of 45 players for the match, including retiring captain Giorgio Chiellini. It was reduced to 30 men on Tuesday. Other notable stars in the squad are Lorenzo Insigne, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, etc. But they are without Domenico Berardi, Andrea Pinamonti, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Gaetano Castrovilli and Rafael Toloi.
There will be no extra-time after the end of the regulation period. If scores remain level, the winners will be decided on penalties. A team can name a maximum of 12 substitutes, but only five can be replaced during the play.
Italy vs Argentina, Finalissima 2022 match details
Match: Italy vs Argentina
Date: June 2 (Thursday), 2022
Time: 12:15 AM IST/ 19:45 BST (Wednesday/local)
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England. This the first Finalissima is being hosted at a neutral venue.
How to watch Italy vs Argentina, Finalissima 2022 match on TV and stream live
In South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), Finalissima 2022 between Italy and Argentina will be telecast live on Sony Pictures Sport Network - Sony Ten 1/HD. Fans can also stream the ITA vs ARG match live on SonyLIV and JioTV.
In Argentina, the match will be telecast live on ESPN. In Italy, RAI has the telecast rights for the match. Fans in England can watch the ITA vs ARG match on Premier Sports.
Argentina vs Italy, head-to-head
This will be the 17th meeting between Italy and Argentina overall, and there is very little to separate the two in the head-to-head records. Italy lead 6-5, with five matches ending in draws.
But Argentina are undefeated in the last five meetings against Italy, winning the most recent four, including that famous 4-3 win on penalties in the 1990 World Cup semi-final at Olympic Stadium, Roma.
Italy's last win against Argentina (3-1) was in a special match before the 1990 World Cup, between the hosts and the defending champions. Diego Maradona's long-time striking partner, Claudio Caniggia made his debut in this match.
Likely starting XIs for ITA vs ARG football match
Italy (Fifa rank - 6): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri; Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verratti; Nicolo Zaniolo, Gianluca Scamacca, Lorenzo Insigne.
Argentina (Fifa rank - 4): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria.