This Wednesday's gala final will be held at Wembley between Argentina and Italy. The Copa America winner and European champion will be crowned in this "finalissima", which allows the Italians to win an intercontinental trophy, to console themselves after missing the next World Cup.
Roberto Mancini, the Italian coach, said that "the disillusionment is still great but we must start again." The Azzurri's triumph at Wembley last July has seen them fall back to earth. They were beaten in October by the League of Nations Final 4, and then beaten in October in the Final 4 of League of Nations. In March, North Macedonia (0-1), deprived them of the World Cup.
Wednesday's "Finalissima", which will be opening a new Squadra project, looks more like an opportunity to close the enchanted paraenthesis of Euro-2020.
This is the third edition of the duel between South American and European champions. France won the first match against Uruguay (2-0) back in 1985, and Argentina beat Denmark (2-1 a.p.; 5 shots on goal to 4 in 1993).
Captain Giorgio Chiellini, 37, will be playing his final international match. The European champions will again experience the "magical nights" flavor, with a few exceptions.
Mancini will take advantage of the four matches in June in the League of Nations (Germany twice and Hungary) to bring some fresh air to a team that has been a little boring for a while.
Argentina will begin preparations for the 2022 World Cup (November 21-December 18, in London), where it will face Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland in round one.
One thing is certain: Lionel Messi, his partners, and Kylian Mbappe will undoubtedly be eager to show that South American football has a level that is not as high as that of the Old Continent. He had previously said that South American football was not "as advanced" because it is difficult for players to play high-level matches every day.
Lautaro Martinez, the scorer for Argentina's Copa America win in 2021 beating Brazil, found these comments "unfair" and claimed to be "very happy where we are".
It is true that the Lionel Scaloni-coached team has not faced a European country in more than two years (2-2 against Germany October 2019), but it still holds a record 31 matches without losing (21 wins, 10 draws). It is still not far from breaking the record of 37 matches Italy lost in October.