Srinagar, June 1: Superstar Lionel Messi inspired Copa America champions Argentina to a 3-0 win over European Champions Italy to secure Finalissima trophy.
It was a clash between South American champions and European champions at Wembley England in which Messi lead side emerged out as winner.
Judging by the two assists for Messi 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.
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.
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.