Messi ahead of Finalissima: Italy would have been World Cup favourites

Argentina forward Lionel Messi said Italy would have been favourites had they qualified the World Cup ahead of their Finalissima clash on June 1.

The match at Wembley pits the winners of Euro 2020 and the Copa America against one another.

However, despite winning the European Championship, Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for a second consecutive tournament and Messi said it is a shame the Azzurri will be absent.

He told TyC Sports: “It’s crazy that they won the Euros and are not at the World Cup. That Italy are again not at a World Cup, with what that means and Italy’s relationship with the World Cup is a shame.

“I have team-mates and friends in the team, good people who I have a good relationship with and who have helped me a lot since I’ve been here. Above all [Marco] Verratti and it’s a real shame.”

Argentina beat Italy the last time the two teams met in England, earning a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium in March 2018 and are unbeaten against the Azzurri since 1987.

But Messi is expecting a good game. He added: “It’s good test for us. They are the champions of Europe and would have been World Cup favourites had they been there.

“They were unlucky not to be there but were not able to go through their. When they had the chance to win the previous match, before the play-off, and they didn’t and then, for football reasons are not at the World Cup.”

The match will be Italy’s first at Wembley since beating England in the final of Euro 2020.

Since then, they have won just two competitive matches and than difficult run saw them beaten in the UEFA Nations League semi-final by Spain and fail to qualify for the World Cup.

10 Comments on “Messi ahead of Finalissima: Italy would have been World Cup favourites”

  1. Is Messi would have played for Italy he wouldn’t have easily won a few WC and Euro Cups. Same goes for Platini.

  2. Messi has a soft spot for Italy. His grandfather is from Ancona, so he feels for us not being at World Cup 🙁

  3. Pressed chest, fleshed out west, might be the savior or a garden pest. Her bouquet cleaved his hardened shell, And fondled his muscled heart. He imbibed her glistening spell, Just before the other shoe fell.

  4. Sad thing is, he’s right.

    There are no great international teams at all at the moment, and Italy certainly would have been one of the favourites, especially against the better teams that don’t sit back as much and stifle Italy’s weakest are – attack.

    There’s so many poor teams in this WC, it could be a real slog before the tournament gets serious.

  5. Messi has Italian roots via his father and mother. His grandfather wanted him to play for Italy and not Argentina. Shame he didn’t take his advice.

  6. I think Lord Allegri is wasting his talent. He should be writing for Playboy! Is it still a thing?

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