Finalissima 2022 is upon us – the final showdown between South American and Italian football giants.
Ever heard or read anything about the Finalissima before today? Not to worry, Fcnaija has compiled all you need to know about this all-important final between Italy and Argentina.
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.
Who will play in the 2022 Finalissima?
UEFA EURO 2020 winners Italy will take on Copa América victors Argentina.
Italy booked their place by claiming the European crown last summer, defeating England on penalties in the Wembley final for their second continental title.
Argentina ended a 28-year wait for a trophy by winning the 2021 Copa América, beating Brazil 1-0 in the decider to clinch a record-equalling 15th Copa América title.
Italy vs Argentina Head-to-Head
Italy have a slight edge over Argentina and have won six of the 16 matches played between the two teams. Argentina have managed five victories against Italy and will look to level the scales on Wednesday.
The previous meeting between the two footballing giants took place in 2018 and ended in a 2-0 victory for Argentina. Italy were outplayed on the day and will need to take it up a notch this week.
Italy form guide: W-L-D-D-W
Argentina form guide: D-W-W-W-D
Italy vs Argentina Team News
Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa, and Gaetano Castrovilli are injured and have been ruled out of this fixture. Giorgio Chiellini has been included in the squad and is in line to make his final appearance for the Azzurri.
Injured: Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa, Gaetano Castrovilli, Rafael Toloi
Cristian Romero is carrying a knock and remains Argentina’s only injury concern ahead of this match. Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Lautaro Martinez are set to lead the line this week.
Doubtful: Cristian Romero
How does the Finalissima work?
The Finalissima will be a one-off fixture played over 90 minutes. There is no extra time, so if the tie is level at the end of regulation time then it will go straight to penalties. The referee appointment will be made jointly by the two confederations.
When is the Finalissima being played?
The game will take place on Wednesday 1 June 2022. It kicks off at 7:45PM (West African Time )
Where is the Finalissima being held in 2022?
The match is part of the expansion of the cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL, which notably includes women’s football, futsal and youth categories, the exchange of referees, as well as technical training schemes.
As UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin explained in December, “We are very much looking forward to exploring new opportunities together and we are eagerly awaiting the Finalissima in London in June 2022.”
Have the European champions and Copa América winners met before in an official showdown?
This will be the third time the EURO holders have met their South American counterparts in a match organised by UEFA and CONMEBOL. In 1985, France defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Paris, and eight years later Argentina edged out Denmark on penalties on home turf at Mar del Plata.