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Finalissima 2022, Italy vs Argentina: Meet the teams

The European and South American champions will compete at Wembley on 1 June. Get the lowdown on the two nations including key players, form and stats.

Italy and Argentina meet in the Finalissima at Wembley on 1 June
Italy and Argentina meet in the Finalissima at Wembley on 1 June ©UEFA

UEFA EURO 2020 winners Italy will take on 2021 Copa América champions Argentina at London's Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 1 June 2022.

UEFA.com looks back on the history of the two nations, how they booked their place in the Finalissima, which players could take centre stage and the vital statistics ahead of the sides' meeting.

What is the Finalissima?

The fixture pits the champions of Europe against their South American counterparts, in a showdown agreed after UEFA and CONMEBOL signed a renewed and extended Memorandum of Understanding on 15 December 2021.

ITALY

FIFA ranking: 6
World Cup best: winners (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
UEFA EURO best: winners (1968, 2020)

How they became European champions

Italy's EURO 2020 road to glory
Italy's EURO 2020 road to glory

Group A: winners
11/06: Turkey 0-3 Italy (Demiral 53og, Immobile 66, Insigne 79)
16/06: Italy 3-0 Switzerland (Locatelli 26 52, Immobile 89)
20/06: Italy 1-0 Wales (Pessina 39)

Round of 16
26/06: Italy 2-1 Austria (aet) (Chiesa 95, Pessina 105; Kalajdzic 114)

Quarter-finals
02/07: Belgium 1-2 Italy (Lukaku 45+2pen; Barella 31, Insigne 44)

Semi-finals
06/07: Italy 1-1 Spain (aet, Italy won 4-2 on pens) (Chiesa 60; Morata 80)

Final
11/07: Italy 1-1 England (aet, Italy won 3-2 on pens) (Bonucci 67; Shaw 2)

Coach: Roberto Mancini

One of the best forward players of his generation, though never a champion at international level, Mancini has made his mark as a national coach after winning club trophies in Italy, England and Turkey. He took the reins after the Azzurri's shock failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup; three years later they were European champions.

Key player: Jorginho

All of Italy's EURO 2020 goals
All of Italy's EURO 2020 goals

In the Italy camp, the Chelsea linchpin is nicknamed 'Radio Jorginho' because he is constantly talking during games and directing his team-mates. Others might deliver spectacular tricks or stunning goals, but Jorginho is the brains behind this Azzurri team. An indispensable conductor, he won the 2020/21 UEFA Men's Player of the Year award.

Young talent: Nicolò Zaniolo

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder seemed destined for greatness after breaking into the Azzurri set-up at 19 and scoring his first international goals in their final UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier – a 9-1 win against Armenia. Two cruciate knee injuries have hampered his progress, but he seems back in the groove at Roma this season.

Key stats

Watch it in style: Official Hospitality

ARGENTINA

FIFA ranking: 4
World Cup best: winners (1978, 1986)
Copa América best: winners (15 times)

How they became South American champions

Argentina celebrate their 2021 Copa América triumph
Argentina celebrate their 2021 Copa América triumph

Group A: winners
14/06: Argentina 1-1 Chile (Messi 33; Vargas 57)
18/06: Argentina 1-0 Uruguay (Rodríguez 13)
21/06: Argentina 1-0 Paraguay (Gómez 10)
28/06: Bolivia 1-4 Argentina (Saavedra 60; Gómez 6, Messi 33pen 42, La. Martínez 65)

Quarter-finals
03/07: Argentina 3-0 Ecuador (De Paul 40, La. Martínez 84, Messi 90+3)

Semi-finals
06/07: Argentina 1-1 Colombia (aet, Argentina won 3-2 on pens) (La. Martínez 7; Díaz 61)

Final
10/07: Argentina 1-0 Brazil (Di María 22)

Coach: Lionel Scaloni

Scaloni, who was capped just seven times but appeared at the 2006 World Cup finals, was a stalwart at Deportivo La Coruña before spending several years in Italy with Lazio and Atalanta. Appointed assistant coach by Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla in 2016, he took the same role under him with the national team a year later. Scaloni assumed sole charge in 2018 and ended Argentina's 28-year trophy drought at the 2021 Copa América.

Key player: Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi shows off his first international trophy last summer
Lionel Messi shows off his first international trophy last summerAFP via Getty Images

The Paris striker and former Barcelona icon barely needs an introduction. Messi holds records for the most caps and goals for Argentina and finally clinched his first international trophy last summer. The 34-year-old has won four UEFA Champions League titles and has finished top scorer in six seasons of the competition.

Young talent: Julián Álvarez

Argentina's next great striker hope, Álvarez made his international debut in June 2021. The 22-year-old was top scorer in Argentina's Primera División with River Plate in 2021, when he was also voted South American Footballer of the Year. He joined Manchester City in January but immediately returned on loan to River Plate.

Key stats

  • Argentina's triumph in the 2021 Copa América was their 15th in the competition, equalling Uruguay's record. They have won more games (127) and scored more goals (474) at the finals than any other nation.
  • Messi's appearance in last summer's Copa América decider was his 34th at the finals, equalling the record of Chile's Sergio Livingstone.
  • Messi finished joint top scorer at the 2021 Copa América, the first Argentina player to do so since Gabriel Batistuta in 1995.
  • Messi was voted Copa América Player of the Tournament for the second time last summer, having also scooped the award in 2015. You have to go back to 1993 for the last time a different Argentinian player was voted best player at the finals (Sergio Goycochea).
  • Emiliano Martínez took the award for best goalkeeper at the 2021 Copa América after keeping four clean sheets, and saving three penalties in their shoot-out success against Colombia in the semi-finals. He is the only Argentinian goalkeeper to win the award.
  • Argentina have won their last four meetings with Italy. The three most recent were friendlies, with the first in the sequence a 4-3 success on penalties in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals. La Albiceleste have not lost to the Azzurri since 1987.