Finalissima: Italian captain Giorgio Chiellini plans ‘beautiful’ retirement after Wembley showpiece | Soccer News


Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini says he will enjoy a ‘beautiful’ end to his international career against Argentina at Wembley in Wednesday’s Finalissima – but what is it?

European champions Italy will face their South American counterparts Argentina in the third edition of the ‘Champions Cup’ match between the winners of the European Championship and the now Copa America. titled Finalissima, at Wembley Stadium.

Italy manager Roberto Mancini is set to name as many of his Euro 2020 heroes, who beat England to lift the trophy at the same stadium last July, as possible in the starting XI. But he also admitted the game represents the “end of a cycle” after the failure of qualifying for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

When asked how it would feel to end his international career with this match, Chiellini told UEFA.com: “It’s wonderful.

“Argentina have exceptional players. Obviously the first one that comes to mind is (Lionel) Messi but the others around him are fantastic. They didn’t win (the Copa America) by accident.

Italy team

Guardians: Alessio Cragno (Lazio); Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG); Alex Meret (Napoli); Salvatore Sirigu (Genoa).

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Davide Calabria (Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Emerson Palmieri (Lyon), Alessandro Florenzi (Milan), Manuel Lazzari (Lazio), Luiz Felipe (Lazio), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma).

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter); Bryan Cristote (Rome); Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo); Jorginho (Chelsea); Manuel Locatelli (Juventus); Lorenzo Pellegrini (Rome); Matteo Pessina (Atalanta); Sandro Tonali (Milan); Marco Veratti (PSG)

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Turin); Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo); Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus); Gianluca Caprari (Verona); Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli); Moise Kean (Juventus); Andrea Pinamonti (Empoli); Matteo Politano (Napoli); Giacomo Raspadori (Sassuolo); Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo); Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio); Nicolo Zaniolo (Rome).

“Messi is a footballing icon. It’s not for me to say whether he’s the greatest of all time or not. It will just be a pleasure to play my last match for the national team against him.

“It was, without a doubt, better than I could have imagined. When you are a kid, you dream of playing for the national team, because that is the pinnacle.

“The idea of ​​being able to play over 100 games in 18 years, being captain and winning a major cup like I did last year at Wembley was the icing on the cake.”

Chiellini, who has already played his last game for Juventus after 17 years at the club, added: “I’m at peace. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and a bit proud of what I’ve achieved in my career. career.”

Scaloni: Argentina trained like never before

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Lionel Messi is part of a strong squad named by Lionel Scaloni for Argentina’s visit to London

Although not considered a major trophy, Finalissima has given Argentina players enough motivation for manager Lionel Scaloni – who enjoyed his own brief spell in London as a player with West Ham in 2006 – to talk about hopes of his team to win the revived tournament.

The 29-man squad that Scaloni has selected are preparing for Wednesday’s showdown with a warm-weather training session in Bilbao, and have been “training like never before”, in the words of their coach.

“Of course we would like to win because it’s a trophy at stake,” Scaloni said. “The most important thing is our goal, which is by November and which is to continue to develop our game.

Argentina team

Guardians: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Juan Musso (Atalanta), Jeronimo Rugli (Villarreal), Franco Armani (River Plate).

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina (Udinese), Neuen Perez (both from Udinese), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Christian Romero (Tottenham), German Pessella (Betis), Marcos Senesi ( Feyenoord), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax), Nicholas Tagliafico (Ajax).

Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Betis), Alexis McAllister (Brighton), Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Giovani Lo Celso (Villarreal, on loan from Tottenham).

Attackers: Lionel Messi (PSG), Angel Di Maria (PSG), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Joaquin Correa (Inter), Lautaro Martinez (Inter) , Julian Alvarez (River Plate).

“Wearing this shirt means competing against teams and competing as much as possible and that’s what we will do tomorrow. Whether we win the trophy or not, what matters is to continue on the path we have set.

“We trained like never before. The last time we had a full week was maybe before the Copa America, and I don’t think it was even seven days, so maybe that’s- be the period of most training sessions with the national team for me and I hope we made the most of it.

“You have to look at how much the players have played, especially at the end of the season. We made some adjustments, repeated the things we were doing well and tried to improve them and of course worked on areas for improvement.”

Finalissima explained…

What is Finalissima?

The “Champions Cup”, between the holders of the European Championship and the winners of the Copa America, has already been contested twice, in 1985 and 1993, with France and Argentina respectively winners.

A revival of the idea was first mooted in 2020 before it was confirmed last year by UEFA and CONMBEOL, the continents’ two confederations, that at least three editions of the competition would be disputed – from 2022.

In March, “Finalissima” was revealed as the name of the competition, which means “grand final” in Italian.

Why is it only Europe against South America?

Of the 21 World Cup winners to date, all have come from South America (nine) or Europe (12) – and so although this is not an “official” event , it undoubtedly opposes the winners of the two strongest continental competitions.

What are the two teams up against?

The Finalissima trophy will be awarded to one of Italy or Argentina - who are, arguably, the "holders"  - Wednesday night
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The Finalissima trophy will be awarded to one from Italy or Argentina – who are, arguably, the ‘holders’ – on Wednesday night

Oh don’t worry, there’s a trophy to be won – slightly larger than the World Cup and roughly the same shape as a champagne flute, the Finalissima Trophy has retained much of the same style as when he was first awarded to France nearly 40 years ago.

The main difference is a new base, to integrate the new name of the competition.




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