Lionel Messi was the star of the show as Argentina thrashed Italy 3-0 at Wembley in the Finalissima 2022 to win the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions.

There was a lot of excitement among the fans heading into the Finalissima 2022 as the champions of Europe took on the champions of South America in a one-off clash for the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions. However, on Wednesday at Wembley, only one team showed up for the big occasion as Argentina were all over an Italy side that looked disjointed and lacking any spirit.

La Albiceleste were on the front foot from the get-go and got the first breakthrough in the 28th minute when captain Lionel Messi produced a sublime assist to set Lautaro Martinez up for the opener. Argentina doubled their advantage on the cusp of half-time as Angel Di Maria produced a delectable chip over PSG teammate Gianluigi Donnarumma to pretty much put the game to bed.

Italy showed no signs of improvement after the half-time break and looked to get more and more frustrated as time wore on, going into rash challenges and tackles. Luckily for them, there were no sanctions by the referee. Argentina were in control throughout the second half as well and managed to add a third goal deep into stoppage time when Paulo Dybala found the back of the net via the post, with Messi involved again.

It was a statement performance from Argentina, who have now won two international trophies in the space of 11 months, having lifted the Copa America 2021 last summer. They are also 32 games unbeaten now, while Italy looked very much like the team that had failed to qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. The match also brought an end to Giorgio Chiellini’s international career, with the Azzurri captain appearing dejected after the result.

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Here are our player ratings for both sets of players as Argentina breezed past Italy in the Finalissima 2022.

Italy Player Ratings

Gianluigi Donnarumma: 6/10

While he may have shipped three goals on the night, Donnarumma made a few important saves, especially in the second period, to keep the scoreline down to 3-0. Otherwise, it could have gotten much worse for Italy at Wembley.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo: 5/10

The Italy right-back did not offer the required solidity at the back or provide an attacking outlet going forward. He was turned inside out by Messi in the buildup to the first goal. Di Lorenzo ended the game with a yellow card.

Leonardo Bonucci: 5/10

One of the old guard members of this Italian side, Bonucci endured a torrid time on Wednesday. The veteran defender never really looked comfortable against the Argentine attack and made some rash fouls while also being sloppy with the ball at his feet.

Giorgio Chiellini: 5/10

Playing his final game for Italy, the Azzurri skipper was all over the place, much like his defensive partner. Chiellini found it difficult to cope with the pace and movement of the Argentine forwards and could not keep up with Di Maria for the second goal. He was brought off at half-time, much to his dismay. Not the way he would have wanted to end his international career.

Emerson Palmieri: 5/10

The Chelsea full-back fared slightly better than his defensive partners but was sloppy nonetheless as he gave away possession cheaply on several occasions, hampering any chance of Italy getting their foot into the game.

Matteo Pessina: 4/10

A strange pick from Roberto Mancini, Pessina’s selection failed to pay off as the midfielder was near anonymous for almost the entirety of his 61-minute stay on the pitch at Wembley.

Jorginho: 5/10

There was not much to write home about Jorginho’s performance on the night either, as he was robbed of possession multiple times by Messi, forcing the Italian to commit fouls. However, the Chelsea ace tried to push the team forward when he got on the ball and drew a save early in the game.

Nicolo Barella: 5/10

A disappointing display from Italy’s midfield mainstay, whose most notable contribution was a foul on Angel Di Maria in the second half that earned him a booking. Barella never really got into the game and was often found chasing his Argentine counterparts and giving away free-kicks.

Federico Bernardeschi: 5/10

Getting the nod on the right flank, the winger offered some energy and intensity in the early phases but could not pierce the Argentine backline and was whisked off at half-time.

Andrea Belotti: 5/10

Given the nod over Gianluca Scamacca, the Torino striker had one or two promising moments in the first twenty minutes or so. But after that, he hardly got a look-in at the Argentine goal and was well-marshalled by the opposition defence before being taken off.

Giacomo Raspadori: 6/10

The Sassuolo forward looked like causing a few problems to the Argentine defence on the rare occasions that Italy looked to push forward and have a go at their opponents. Brighter of the attacking trident, although that is not saying much.

SUBSTITUTES

Manuel Lazzari: 6/10

Lazzari came on for captain Chiellini at half-time and helped tighten things up to some extent in the second half.

Manuel Locatelli: 6/10

Replaced Bernardeschi at half-time. The Juventus star slotted into the midfield and offered more energy and purpose for the Italians than what had been visible for the first half. Locatelli tried to drive the team upfield and even had a shot saved.

Gianluca Scamacca: 5/10

On for Belotti at half-time, the forward tried to take the game to Argentina but was caught offside way too regularly for his liking.

Leonardo Spinazzola: 5/10

Came on for the final 30 minutes or so, to make his first international appearance after suffering a horrific injury at the Euros last year.

Alessandro Bastoni: N/A

Replaced Emerson with a little over ten minutes left.

Argentina Player Ratings

Emiliano Martinez: 7/10

A clean sheet for the Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper who was not called into action a great deal, apart from making a few routine saves here and there. Showed good alertness and command within his box.

Nahuel Molina: 7/10

A steady display from the right-back in London, amidst links with a summer transfer to Arsenal. Molina was dependable in defence and got forward well on numerous occasions.

Cristian Romero: 7.5/10

Rock-solid display from the Tottenham man upon returning from injury. Romero was strong in the air and on the ground, going into challenges with great gusto while his positioning was spot on throughout his time on the pitch.

Nicolas Otamendi: 7/10

The veteran defender was booked early on in the game but held his discipline to see out the contest without any more errors. Otamendi kept things tight at the back and also managed to create a chance for Di Maria in the second half with a fine long pass out onto the right flank.

Nicolas Tagliafico: 7/10

An energetic display from the Argentine left-back, who was preferred over Marcos Acuna by manager Lionel Scaloni. Tagliafico showed plenty of endeavour to get forward on the left side, helping Italy keep pinned back, while he was sound in his defensive duties as well.

Rodrigo De Paul: 7/10

He might not have been a standout performer, but the Atletico Madrid star played his part in ensuring Argentina stayed on top of Italy for much of the game. De Paul kept things ticking along in the middle and put in the hard yards off the ball before being taken off.

Guido Rodriguez: 7/10

Solid, if not spectacular, from the Real Betis midfielder on the night. Like De Paul, Guido Rodriguez’s work does not always get recognition, but he put in a combative display in the centre of the park to help Argentina stay in control.

Giovani Lo Celso: 8/10

A bright display from the Tottenham midfielder, who could be closing in on a permanent transfer to Villarreal. Lo Celso was one of Argentina’s main creative outlets, and some of his link-up play with Messi was eye-catching. The midfielder created a chance for his captain and had a goal chalked off for offside.

Lionel Messi: 9/10

Having inspired his team to the Copa America triumph last year, the Argentine captain was at it again on Wednesday, leading from the front as he put Italy to the sword from the get-go. The Azzurri could not cope with Messi’s brilliance on the night as he ran rings around them, time and again.

The 34-year-old superstar set Martinez up for the opening goal and also got the assist for Dybala’s late strike after a piercing run. Between those two moments, he came close to scoring and created several other chances in a top-class display.

Lautaro Martinez: 8/10

A fine attacking display from the Inter Milan hitman, who showed his composure to open the scoring for Argentina before he set Di Maria up for the second goal. Martinez put the Italian backline under constant pressure with his sharp and incisive movement before making way for Julian Alvarez.

Angel Di Maria: 8/10

A livewire in attack for Argentina, Di Maria was a constant thorn in the side of the Italian defence who found it difficult to keep up with his speed and guile. The veteran winger La Albiceleste’s lead on the cusp of half-time with a dinked finish and came close to scoring twice in the second half, only for Donnarumma to deny him. He was taken off late in the game.

SUBSTITUTES

Exequiel Palacios: N/A

Palacios replaced De Paul with less than 15 minutes left to play. Steady.

German Pezzella: N/A

The defender came on for Romero in the 85th minute.

Julian Alvarez: N/A

The Manchester City starlet was sent on for Martinez in the 85th minute.

Paulo Dybala: N/A

Dybala came on for Lo Celso in stoppage time and scored a late goal to make it 3-0.

Nicolas Gonzalez: N/A

Stoppage-time substitute for Di Maria.

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