Why Italy will be playing Argentina at Wembley this June

Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti, Paulo Dybala - here is what you need to know before Argentina face Italy in the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Nations

An image of Lionel Messi playing football for Argentina
Lionel Messi playing for Argentina against Venezuela. Photo: ZUMA Press / Alamy News

Italy will return to Wembley for the first time since they won the Euro 2020 finals as they face Argentina in the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Nations.

The game, previously known as the European/South American Nations Cup, is the official super cup fixture between the winners of the European Championship and Copa America.

This is the third time the game will be held and the first time since 1993. France beat Uruguay 2-0 in 1985 and became the first-ever winners of the trophy. Diego Maradona then led Argentina to a penalty-shootout victory in 1993 against Peter Schmeichel’s Denmark.

The 2022 edition will take place on June 1 at Wembley Stadium. Argentina have won the last four fixtures between the two sides, with the only competitive victory coming in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals.

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Fans will be pleased to hear that Lionel Messi has been included in the squad and is set to lead his country out next week. The most recent Copa America was Messi’s first-ever trophy for Argentina, with his only other accolade being a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Paulo Dybala, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League, has also been included in the squad despite only playing three times for Argentina since 2019.

Cristian Romero, Angel di Maria and Lautaro Martinez have all been included in Lionel Scaloni’s squad.

Argentina have not lost a game since 2019 as they are unbeaten in their last 31 games. They finished second in their World Cup qualifying group, with Martinez and Messi both scoring seven goals in the campaign.

Italy are yet to release their official squad for the game but many Italians will be downhearted going into the game knowing that they won’t be at the World Cup later this year.

Roberto Mancini’s side drew their final two group games in the qualifying stages of the World Cup and defeat by underdogs North Macedonia saw them fail to qualify for the Qatar World Cup.  

Giorgio Chiellini has also announced that the game against Argentina will be the final time he represents his country.

Predicted XI

Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Nahuel Molina, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna, Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovanni Lo Celso, Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Angel di Maria.

Italy: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Giorgio Chiellini, Leandro Bonnuci, Emerson, Marco Verrati, Jorginho, Nicolo Barella, Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne.