Lionel Messi was eye catcher of the show as Copa America holders Argentina fired to a 3-0 victory versus European champions Italy in the Finalissima at Wembley on Wednesday.
Inspired by the perfect Messi, Argentina augmented to a two-goal lead in the first half of the eminent friendly credits to strikes from Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.
Paulo Dybala capped Argentina’s defeat, however after a disheartening season with PSG by his super-high standards, it was the sight of Messi back to his imperial best that took the spotlight.
Messi’s, 34, alluring display featured 2 assists and was worthy of his sparse appearance at one of football’s great matches.
“Today was a nice test because Italy are a great team. We knew it was going to be a nice game and a nice setting in which to be champions,” Messi stated after the final whistle.
“It was a beautiful final, full of Argentines. What we experienced here was beautiful.”
It was another momentous moment for Argentina, who have qualified for this year’s World Cup as they lengthen the golden glow from the win over Brazil that concluded their 28-year wait to win the Copa America in 2021.
“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 stated.
This was only the third Finalissima clash between the respective champions of Europe and South America and the first since Diego Maradona’s Argentina defeat Denmark in 1993.
The 87,000 crowd created a colourful scene for Messi’s mastery, with Argentina’s loud fans turning the north London suburb of Brent into Buenos Aires for raucous evening.
Messi’s name resounded around the stands as Argentina’s fans paid tribute to their idol’s latest masterpiece.