Argentina's players celebrate with Lionel Messi, top, after winning the Finalissima soccer match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London , Wednesday, June 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
LONDON — Energized at Wembley by Lionel Messi’s assists, Argentina’s players threw their superstar teammate in the air after he inspired them to a second title in a year.
National team success is finally coming for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, late in his trophy-filled club career.
Argentina collected the first Finalissima trophy on Wednesday by beating Italy 3-0 in a meeting of the South American and European champions, with Messi having helped Argentina win the Copa America last July for his first major title with the national team.
And judging by the two assists on his record-extending 161st Argentina appearance, there is no sign of the 34-year-old Messi slowing down with the chance to win a first World Cup title later this year.
“What we experienced here was beautiful,” Messi said. “We knew it was going to be a nice game and a nice setting in which to be champions.”
The opener was created by Messi’s solo brilliance taking him past Giovanni Di Lorenzo and the Argentina captain squared for Lautaro Martínez to slot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 28th minute.
Martínez turned creator in first-half stoppage time by threading a pass through for Ángel Di María to chip Donnarumma, having got past Giorgio Chiellini. The 37-year-old Italy captain came off at halftime of his 117th and final international appearance.
The win was wrapped up in the fourth minute of stoppage time with Messi gaining possession on the halfway line and rampaging to the edge of the penalty area where he evaded Di Lorenzo’s challenge to set up the substitute Paulo Dybala to strike low into the net.
It sealed a second trophy success at Wembley for Messi after the 2011 Champions League win with Barcelona over Manchester United. As they celebrated on the Wembley field, the Argentines threw Messi in the the air before catching him.
It was a painful return for the Italians to Wembley Stadium where they won Euro 2020 last year and as they face up to a second successive failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Argentina will head to Qatar in November with another trophy — one created as part of a UEFA-CONMEBOL partnership that challenges the global supremacy of FIFA.
The choice of London as the location for the game was vindicated by more than 87,000 packing into Wembley, with UEFA picking the stadium despite the unrest at the Euro 2020 final caused by England fans.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
O oceanic you sing and sail
White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas
For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors
You who loved the distant Sporades
You who lifted the tallest flags
You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves
Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens
Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades
What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams?
TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.
Sign up for a subscription
Want to save this article? Get a subscription to access this feature and more!
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In