Finalissima 2022, Italy vs Argentina venue guide: Wembley Stadium, London
Wednesday, 1 June 2022
Wembley Stadium stages the Finalissima on Wednesday 1 June; find out about the venue and get UEFA.com's guide to London.
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Wembley facts and figures
• Wembley, the UK's largest stadium and home to the English Football Association, has welcomed more than 21 million visitors since reopening in 2007.
• The original 'Empire Stadium', officially opened by King George V in April 1923, was eventually renamed Wembley after the London suburb in which it stood.
• The original Wembley staged five European Cup finals, plus the finals of the 1966 FIFA World Cup and EURO '96.
• As part of its reconstruction from 2003–07, a gigantic arch replaced the twin towers as the 90,000-capacity venue's visual hallmark.
• The new 'Home Of Football' is once again home to the England national side, and held its first UEFA Champions League finals in 2011 and 2013. More recently, it staged the final of UEFA EURO 2020, where Italy beat England on penalties.
• Michael Jackson (a record 15 times), Queen, David Bowie and Pink Floyd were among the acts that played at the old Wembley; Metallica, Madonna and Oasis have graced the new stadium.
Have Italy and Argentina played at Wembley before?
Both sides have played at Wembley before, though not against each other.
Italy have lost just once in nine games at Wembley (W3 D5): a 2-0 defeat by England in November 1977 during qualifying for the 1978 World Cup. However, the Azzurri eventually topped the group as England missed out on the finals in Argentina.
Italy first visited the old 'Twin Towers' stadium for a 2-2 friendly draw against England in May 1959 and have played in three further friendly matches there: a 1-0 win in 1973, a goalless draw in 1989 and a 1-1 stalemate when they first visited the rebuilt stadium in 2018.
Wembley proved to be a lucky venue for the Azzurri at UEFA EURO 2020; Italy beat Austria 2-1 in the round of 16, then recorded penalty shoot-out successes after 1-1 draws against Spain and England in the semi-finals and final respectively.
This will be Argentina's first outing at the new Wembley, but they contested six matches against England at the old stadium without winning (D3 L3). Most notably, they lost 1-0 to the hosts in the quarter-finals of the 1966 World Cup, while their last visit in February 2000 produced a 0-0 draw.
• The capital of both England and the United Kingdom.
• The world's most visited city, with around 30 million tourists a year.
• Home to the Queen, William Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre and punk rock.
• The only city to have hosted the Olympics three times: in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
• A city of nearly 9 million people.
Where is it?
Located on the banks of the River Thames in the southeast of England, around 1,500km from Rome, 11,000km from Buenos Aires, 5,500km from New York and an 8,000km or so flight from Beijing.
Getting to and around London
London has six major airports and is easily accessed by train from continental Europe. The city is served by the oldest underground railway in the world, with 'The Tube' complemented by extensive bus and overground rail networks. London is increasingly welcoming for cyclists, thanks in part to a popular on-street cycle-hire service. Driving is discouraged, with a congestion charge payable for taking a car into central London.
Where to stay
Perhaps the biggest tourist destination in the world, London is not short of accommodation, with plenty of options in the heart of the city and relatively inexpensive accommodation available out in the suburbs. See useful links below.
What to see
For culture: Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square – the options are endless.
For atmosphere: A walk along the South Bank, from opposite the Houses of Parliament to Borough Market, is full of sightseeing opportunities. For fashionable London, try Soho or Brick Lane.
For fresh air: Royal parks such as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are not to be missed, while London Zoo is situated in another – Regent's Park – within a few Tube stops of central London.
Eating and drinking
London has more than 8,000 restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, with 71 holding Michelin stars in 2022. Traditional 'cockney' food – pie and mash, jellied eels – is available in east London, while the English staple dish of fish and chips, complemented by a London-style 'wally' (gherkin), is easy to come by.
For foreign food, try curry on Brick Lane, kebabs on Green Lanes, or everything in one place at Borough Market. Beer (bitter for the locals, lager for tourists) is the order of the day in London pubs, and generally served in pints (568ml).
Football in the city
Chelsea are the only London club to have won the European Cup, taking the crown for a second time in 2020/21, though north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, and West Ham – confusingly, from out east – have all lifted UEFA trophies. The likes of Crystal Palace, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers have also sampled European football, while various other lower-league professional clubs compete for attention too.
Get out of the city
London can claim to be a green city with approximately 47% classified as green space. Its botanical gardens at Kew, in the leafy southwest of the metropolis, are a UNESCO world heritage site, while Hampstead Heath, in the north, and Greenwich Park – home of the Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory – would also count as green space to Londoners.
Visit London: http://www.visitlondon.com
Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/london
Mayor of London/London Assembly: https://www.london.gov.uk/
Wembley Stadium: http://www.wembleystadium.com/
The Football Association (FA): http://www.thefa.com/